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Fourteen Karat Gratitude + Dead Man's Pond + Kisses Five Dollars

Fourteen Karat Gratitude + Dead Man's Pond + Kisses Five Dollars

Good Morning from Warren Grove, Prince Edward Island

It was a cool and crisp walk from the house to the cabin to write this blog this morning, and I couldn't help but think about spring. 

In Prince Edward Island, our door is always open to spring. She is welcome anytime but seems slow to show herself and share with our anticipating spirits; she usually shows up a month late.  

On the way to the barn, I hear the birds' sing for spring.

“Spring is made of solid, fourteen-karat gratitude, the reward for the long wait. Every religious tradition from the northern hemisphere honours some form of April hallelujah, for this is the season of exquisite redemption, a slam-bang return to joy after a season of cold second thoughts.” ― Barbara Kingsolver, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life.

This proverb from Guinea is an affirmation that could easily be mistaken for one written by an Islander. "No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow." "No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow."

Last weekend, a friend wrote in his blog post-Cultivating Hope how he and a good friend plotted to do something over Easter weekend, something hopeful during the previous two months.

What sprang from this plotting were 200 Cultivate Hope cards, printed on Peter’s letterpress on paper impregnated with wildflower seeds. 

They printed the cards with a hearty band of press assistants and made their way to Dead Man’s Pond in Victoria Park to hang the cards and tree branches for all who might want one. 

If planted indoors in a pot, covered with ⅛ inch of soil, kept moist, hope will spring forth in 7 to 10 days.

See the beauty of their efforts here. I loved this Peter and L.; I am only disappointed I did not get to Dead Man’s Pond. Thank you for putting hope into the community. Take a read and peek at the beauty of their handiwork.

Hope is a thing with feathers that perches in the soul,
and sings the tune without the words
and never stops at all.

~ Emily Dickinson

Recently, I purchased a first edition hardcover copy of Thomas Merton's autobiography Seven STorey Mountain. I started to read it this week, and there are moments of literary brilliance. His writing skills inspire me.

Merton finished the book in 1946 at the age of 31, five years after entering Gethsemani Abbey near Bardstown, Kentucky. 

"It is true that the materialistic society, the so-called culture that has evolved under the tender mercies of capitalism, has produced what seems to be the ultimate limit of this worldliness. And nowhere, except perhaps in the analogous society of pagan Rome, has there ever been such a flowering of cheap and petty and disgusting lusts and vanities as in the world of capitalism, where there is no evil that is not fostered and encouraged for the sake of making money. We live in a society whose whole policy is to excite every nerve in the human body and keep it at the highest pitch of artificial tension, to strain every human desire to the limit and to create as many new desires and synthetic passions as possible, in order to cater to them with the products of our factories and printing presses and movie studios and all the rest."

The Seven Storey Mountain is Thomas Merton's account of trying to work out that destiny. Near the end of his life, the monk could summarise it in one short phrase: "My task is only to be what I am… 

In the preface of a Japanese edition of The Seven Storey Mountain printed in the early ’60s, he wrote: Therefore, most honourable reader, it is not as an author that I would speak to you, not as a story-teller, not as a philosopher, nor as a friend only. I seek to speak to you, in some way, as yourself. Who can tell what this may mean? I myself do not know. But if you listen, things will be said that are perhaps not written in this book. And this will be due not to me, but to the One who lives and speaks in both. 

Since retiring from active duty at The Preserve Company, I have been asked a lot of questions, ie. if I was staying on the Island. Are you planning a new business? Are you sick? Is Shirley sick? What are you going to do? Why? to name a few. 

Every one of us has a "good work" to do in life, which accomplishes something needed in the world while completing something in us. When it is finished, a new work emerges which will help us to make green a desert place, as well as to scale another mountain in ourselves. The work we do in the world when it is a true vocation always corresponds in some mysterious way to the work that goes on within us. ~ from Cry Pain, Cry Hope by Elizabeth O'Connor

I am working on an essay, Why Be an Optimist? for my new blog, A Bunch of Good Things. I plan on launching the new site, on April 30th. If you have already signed up, a big thank you. If you haven’t, you can sign up here

Music Today

Stephane Grappelli lived from 1908 till 1997, I became a fan of his music over 40 years ago, and for some reason, he popped into my mind this morning. Perhaps it was a note in one of the birds' songs? 

I spent the early morning listening to a number of his renditions of old standards while writing. I think the upbeat rhythm of his sound had my fingers typing at a higher speed than usual. 

He has been called "the grandfather of jazz violinists.” And I find him an inspiration, having continued to play concerts worldwide well into his eighties.

I am experimenting with embedding a sound player into the blog. Below is Mr. Grappelli’s music. It will give you a little taste while remaining on the site. 

I need to determine at a later date if the player can be enabled allowing the full song be played.

Here he is playing How High the Moon.

Have a wonderful weekend. 

With love from Prince Edward Island, 

Bruce + Millie

ps. Your Morning Smile

Him: "Your little brother just saw me kiss you. What can I give him to keep him from telling your parents?

Her: "He generally gets 5 dollars."

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Murdock Morrison - April 25, 2022

A wonderful blog Bruce as I had no idea about the cultivation of Hope cards and the hanging of them at Dead Man’s Pond – what a great idea. The Seven Story Mountain by Merton added so much to the theme of hope and his quote " my task is only to be what I am " ,Then O’Connor’s message Why Be An Optimist was well placed with the message that you wanted to convey and of course Grappelli’s music – now my kind of music but I am a fan of your music selections so it has got to be good. Have a great week Bruce, Millie and Shirley- Murdock and Connie

MIkel and Kay Stevenson - April 24, 2022

We are so glad you are continuing your uplifting blogs on The Reserve Company site, Bruce. Looking forward to the launch of your “A Bunch of Good Things” blog as well. Loved the jazz violin version of “How High the Moon”. Hadn’t heard that song for years when I would listen to Ella Fitzgerald sing it.
Spring is a little slow in coming here in Spokane as well…
Mikel & Kay

Faye - April 24, 2022

Inspiring! Enjoyed reading everything. Last fall I planted some new bulbs, forgot where I had planted them, had been checking our flower beds for days…found them today! Oh, the joys of Spring!

Jack & Lillian Paul - April 24, 2022

Mother Nature is a bit mixed up this spring. Hopefully she will get back on track soon…
Another very interesting Blog.
Thank you Bruce….Enjoy your retirement.

Kate LG - April 23, 2022

Thanks for the interesting read today 🌻
Hopefully spring weather will come – seems a little slow this year 🌎

Nancy Hammerton - April 23, 2022

Bruce, reading your comments about Spring on PEI, I thought for a moment you were describing Spring in NewEngland!

Kay - April 23, 2022

Thanks for your inspirational blog-oh for the simple way of life! What a great idea of putting those cards with flower seed for anyone to have-seeing spring flowers puts a “spring in your step”. Thanks for sharing.

Brenda Gionet - April 23, 2022

Thanks for your blog. Especially liked Thomas Merton…so true today. If we could just get back to simple, life would be less complicated.

Laurice Robinet - April 23, 2022

Thanks for sharing.

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