So long to summer…vacation

It is that time of year again, when my many weeks of summer break are ending. This photo was actually taken in March, 2012, not at the end of summer, but it is one of my favourite sunset shots.

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This photo originally showed up here, when I had returned from visiting my daughter in Vancouver. She has found another home, although she has never said goodbye to this one. How wonderful it is to have more than one place to which you belong!

 

Long days ahead

After a very fast summer, I am returning to work next week. Officially I don’t need to go in to the school until Tuesday morning, but it has always been my habit to go in when the teachers do – the week before – and help out setting up, cleaning up, whatever is needed. This year, having had to transfer to a new school, I felt a bit like a fish out of water.

I started the day by going by my old school, to say hi to friends. It felt hard and sad, so I headed to my new school. The “fish out of water” feeling was strengthened, not alleviated, although the vice principal was kind and caring, showing me around and explaining what she could. The school is so large I keep saying I’ll need a GPS so I don’t get lost.

I don’t know what it will take to feel like I belong but I will keep looking for that moment and grasp on to it.

So, when all else fails, I always look at something beautiful. The fact it is purple doesn’t hurt.

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Memorial to Jack Layton

As planned, my hubby and I headed out on our bikes yesterday and went down to the Jack Layton Ferry Docks (recently renamed) to see the statue in memory of Jack Layton.

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The wall behind says, Jack’s Got Your Back: Stronger Together: The Layton Memorial.

I would have loved to see something from his final letter to Canadians as the tag line, but since Jack is on the back of the tandem bike, it is a fitting quote.

For people unfamiliar with Jack Layton, here is a link with information about him, produced at the time of his death. Whether or not you were an NDP supporter, people were struck by his ability to speak and live simply. I think the aspect of his personality I admired most was his strong desire to be a force for change while remaining a guy who, as depicted above, rode his bike everywhere. As well, his devotion to his family was never far from his mind and that was very evident in the way they all treated one another in the days following Layton’s death.

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Olivia Chow, Jack Layton’s widow, said she wanted the sculpture to capture his smile.

I wish he was still riding the streets of Toronto, but his memorial will bring a smile to many other people as they wait for their ferry to the Toronto Island.

For a piece on how the sculpture came to be, follow this link.

 

 

Sadness

I am reblogging this because this week is the anniversary of the death of a great man, Jack Layton. Our plan is to ride our bikes downtown tomorrow and have a look at the memorial to Jack.

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It has been a week with many moments of sadness. The death of Jack Layton has profoundly affected so many people.

The sadness people feel comes from many places, not the least of which is that the possibilities that Jack Layton represented have stalled. The values that he embodied were ones that people admired and wanted to emulate and his presence encouraged that in others. People felt connected to the hope that Jack Layton represented for our country and the kinder, gentler place that he encouraged us to return to.

And finally, to all Canadians: Canada is a great country, one of the hopes of the world. We can be a better one – a country of greater equality, justice, and opportunity…consider that we can be a better, fairer, more equal country by working together.. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world.

All my very best,

Jack Layton

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