Brave & Gallant

“You’ll know when you know”. That advice was given to me fifteen years ago after my first public speaking engagement in what became to be seen as my accidental career. The expression described what the veteran RCMP officer explained, would be the precise moment when I would not want to share my story publicly any more. And he was right. In the fall of 2017, as the 20th anniversary of Bob’s death approached, I knew deep in my heart I was done. A ritual by the banks of the Ottawa River, on a freezing November night marked the occasion. I built a tiny replica of the SS Brave & Gallant, the vessel in Amelia’s painting pictured above, that celebrates qualities the women in our family are reknowned for. After facilitating a workshop at the National Restorative Justice Conference in the city I was born in, I clambered down the icy bank and set the boat in the river. I felt free. I felt grateful. I felt ready to come home. For good.

For the last year I have delighted in the opportunity to work full time with Michael in his law practice. While I have handled the financial management of the firm for twenty years, I had never dealt directly with his clients. My restorative justice skills are being put to good use as I gather information and prepare documents for people dealing with the conflict of divorce and civil litigation. Holding space for the grief that so often comes in the door with an estate matter is second nature to me.

As my dear friend Deanne says, “you don’t need to go looking for hard”. Years on the road and the powerful collaborative work with my dear friend Shannon was life-changing. But it was time to deepen my roots at home again. I am so happy. I love being close to my family, friends and this beautiful island.

For five years I have volunteered with the mentor program with Big Brothers Big Sisters. While my young friend Carmen has moved on to middle school, we are now seeing each other on our own time. Over the years we spent many hours in the kitchen at her elementary school and I was struck by the number of families that relied on the school food program leftovers to supplement their family meals. It is deeply troubling to me that children come to school on empty stomachs; and even more worrisome that hungry families wait at home for their return.

Being close to home has meant my yoga practice has been able to flourish. I will never get over the pleasure of walking through Chinatown with my mat under my arm to get to class. Being close to home has also meant time to explore a creative outlet I have love since childhood - making jewelry. Like the Japanese concept of Ikagai, where passion, mission, vocation and profession intersect, I found a way to bring what I am passionate about together and am pleased to present…

n o u r i s h m e n t is a small line of simple jewelry I have designed to help support the agencies that bring breakfast programs into our city elementary schools. Breakfast Club Canada and breakfast2music are filling the bellies of cildren in our community so that they can learn and thrive. And to make the whole venture even morein line with my values, the line is being sold by my friend and yoga mentor Andrea Ting-Letts in her new store Beatnik Goods located in Moksana Yoga’s new home. Stop by and see the amazing line up of socially conscious products and the fantastic new studio space.

“I am done with great things and big things, great institutions and big success, and I am for those tiny, invisible molecular moral forces that work from individual to individual, creeping through the crannies of the world like so many rootlets, or like the capillary oozing of water, yet which if you give them time, will rend the hardest monuments of (wo)man's pride.”

― William James