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Bruce's Blog || Just sayin'. . .

Forest Bathing, Do the Unexpected, and Fathers Day

Posted on June 17, 2018 by Bruce MacNaughton

Happy Father’s Day

Greetings, from Prince Edward Island!

I am happy to announce that while the temperatures have been on the cool side here in PEI, we seem to be on an upward trend (fingers crossed). We did have cool temperatures earlier this week, but the weekend is shaping up to be a beauty! 

Watching the sun while it cracks the horizon this morning, is a reminder that a great day of promise is beginning.

We hope to welcome many dads to the restaurant this Father’s Day weekend. As a father, I certainly miss our daughters not being at home, but mindful of the circle of life as they are about pursuing dreams and careers. Missing Lauren and Emily.

Over the last few days, we have had carloads of graduating high school students coming to the Gardens of Hope for photographs. And there will be many graduation ceremonies taking place on our Island and beyond.

Speeches delivered by people who have overcome the odds to do something "unexpected" inspire me.  

Sef Scott, a student at Plano Senior High School in Frisco, Texas, speaks about the unexpected in addressing the graduating class of 2018. The teen has autism and social communication disorder, he rarely speaks.
In the speech, Sef encourages his fellow grads to do the unexpected – whether it’s by doing little things, like giving a gift to a stranger, or by doing bigger things, like changing the entire course of your life.
I hope you enjoy his speech below. 

Everyone knows that Dads love ice cream. If you’re on the Island and you don’t plan to join us for a meal, perhaps Dad would enjoy a scoop or two of ice cream and a stroll through the Gardens of Hope!

Are you thinking about taking a stroll? 

I have been reading lately about "forest bathing," and I find it most intriguing that something I have always known but don't practice enough is studied as a "science" in Japan. 

Shinrin Yoku or "forest bathing" was developed in Japan in the 1980s and brings together ancient ways and wisdom with cutting-edge environmental health science. We can all benefit from this simple practice.

Simply put, forest bathing is the practice of walking slowly through the woods, in no hurry, for a morning, an afternoon or a day. It is a practice that involves all the senses, and as you gently walk and breathe deeply, the essential oils of the trees are absorbed by your body and have an extraordinary effect on positive feelings, stress hormone levels, parasympathetic nervous activity, sympathetic nervous activity, blood pressure, heart rate and brain activity.

How to Enjoy Forest Bathing

1. Select the forest you feel safe and secure. 

We can not expect to obtain relaxing effect from every forest. For instance, when there is noise, pollution and difficulty in walking, it makes it harder for us to be relaxed. Selecting an environment that suits our needs increases the level of comfort and the relaxing effect.

2. Be Aware of Your Senses

If you blessed with five senses, be aware of what your eyes see, your nose smells, ears hear, your taste does, your sense of touch or feel. Through the five senses, we can observe seasonal changes, birds singing, the forest fragrance and the soft breeze of the wind. 

3. Taking your Time

For "Forest Bathing" therapy to work effectively it is vital not to set time constraints or be in a hurry. Learning about yourself by taking your time, is good medicine for rejuvenation.

Here is a photograph was taken by Lorna Rand entering the Gardens of Hope, Magical Forest. 

I like this spot within the Magical Forest at the Gardens of Hope. 

Lots to be grateful for.

Here is an interesting article by Kory Floyd, Professor of Communication, from the University of Arizona on being a Dad, discussing the tension between intimacy and masculinity, called "The understated affection of fathers." Read Here.

I remember asking our girls in their late teens if there was one thing they could change about their father what would it be. In unison, they said, "Dad, your stupid jokes could go."

Here is my attempt...

Why did the invisible man turn down the job offer? 

He couldn't see himself doing it. 

With love from Prince Edward Island! 



Beach Clean-Up! (not now)

Posted on June 17, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

A local craft brewery launched an initiative earlier this month, to hold an island-wide beach clean up for June 24th. Our beaches can often become quite littered through the winter months with ocean going refuse. We all cherish clean shorelines, especially during the summer and this is possible often as a direct result of volunteer efforts.

A mass beach clean-up is an excellent idea, and many businesses got on board to help with the effort.

However, the Island Nature Trust stepped in and notified the business at the head of this plan that while a lovely sentiment, the timing was all wrong.

Our Island dunes are home to an endangered shorebird, the Piping Plover. And this is the time of year those little birds are making their nests and laying their eggs.

The concern of this group is that a large cleanup effort this time of year could disrupt these nesting birds and we can’t afford to lose a single one! According to a CBC article, the total population of Piping Plovers in PEI is at 61!

The brewery did the right thing and called off the event. They hope to host a clean up at the end of the summer instead.

So great to see companies large and small caring about our environment and doing the right thing.

That was one of the big news stories here on our Island this week! I just love living here.

Before I sign off, I have to wish all my fellow Dads a wonderful Father’s Day weekend. And to you moms and kids who made us dads, thank you for giving us the privilege. My heart goes out to those who lost their Dads for whatever reason. 

I’m not sure yet what Shirley and our daughters have in mind for me Sunday, but it doesn't really matter to me, I am blessed beyond every day with them being the larger part of who I am.

I would love to hear about your Father’s Day traditions and/or some of your stories that celebrate the father figure in your life.