Sunday, May 27, 2012

Seeking Solace

Mirroring what is going on in most of the world, protests and demonstrations are now an every day occurrence on the streets of Montreal. A large portion of our population is made up of university students. Although the English students have, for the most part, carried on as usual and finished their school year, many classes for francophone students have been boycotted as they protest a tuition hike. Graduates who speak only French are not mobile. No doubt underlying issues like the high unemployment in this province, especially for the young, and the rising cost of living fuel their anger and frustration. They see little hope for their future under the current system.

People in general are increasingly stressed out – they work longer hours, have less and less job security and are exhausted from having to do so much just to stay alive.

Under these conditions, it’s especially important to take a few minutes each day to seek solace. For some, it’s reading inspiring literature. You could prefer journaling or writing poetry, or doing a nature walk. Or maybe you like working in the garden, feeling the earth between your fingers and the sun on your face. You need to get off that daily treadmill long enough to appreciate the moment and feel alive.

Though I no longer have that kind of stress in my life, I enjoy going for walks or cycling along the river. This morning I saw an egret, a tall, graceful bird, along with half a dozen great blue herons, fishing in the St. Lawrence River, all coming from lands further south. Last week, I saw three big turtles basking in the sun after their winter hibernation and a baby mink jumping over the rocks.

Sometimes all we have are a few moments to call our own. I urge you all to do something that brings you comfort as well as joy. That something will help you get through the rest of it.