Morning, dawn

I have loved stopping during my morning commute to drink in, absorb, photograph, and share the amazing vistas I’ve been blessed to see. I’ve not shared those morning views for some time and there is a good reason. For over a month I’ve commuted to work in the dark. It’s still a restful contemplative time for me. Unfortunately there isn’t much to see and share. Once at work I cannot stop to see, to share.

Reverting to Daylight Standard Time this weekend may bring a little light back to my commute, to my posts. For this post, here’s a view from early August.

Sometimes the most restful and contemplative views are within us, if we can look within.DSCF6751 - Copy

Squadron

During a recent trip to Windsor we took the scenic route, travelling on Highway 3. Route 3 rarely strays far from the Lake Erie shore. Since this is migrating season we were privileged to see hundreds of migrating Turkey Vultures including and this squadron of 17 individuals. What graceful birds, swooping, soaring, and riding the wind!

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Right and responsibility

Today’s post is more ‘serious’ than usual. I exercised my right and responsibility to vote in today’s federal election. Some of you know that I moved from Texas to Canada in 2007 and became a Canadian citizen in 2011. This is the first federal election in which I am eligible to vote.

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I was blessed to grow up in a very politically aware family. We watched the network news every evening, read current affairs magazines, were encouraged to be aware of politics as well as social and world events. At our dinner table, dinner was served, then discussion which was often about politics and current events. I skedaddled home from school to watch the Watergate hearings which laid bare the paranoia of a President; the evidence brought out essentially forced Richard Nixon to resign in deserved disgrace. Growing up as I did I was aware of Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Preston Manning, Joe Clark, aware of Brian Mulroney and the Kim Campbell debacle, Jean Chretien declining in 2003 to join the coalition to unseat Saddam Hussein (that act of conscience and independence made a huge impression on me).

Anyway.

My parents imparted the lesson that voting is not only a right, it’s a responsibility. It went beyond the ‘If you don’t vote you can’t complain’ trope. It meant being educated about the parties and their platforms, the candidates, the issues, comparing all of this to my beliefs and conscience. And participating in our representative democracy in the States, now in a parliamentary democracy. While all elections are important this one is particularly important. I was, am, very pleased to be able to vote.

Sometimes we can become complacent, take things for granted. Being an immigrant, a new citizen, has helped me remember sometimes to not become complacent. I am very fortunate to live in Canada, where the hydro is reliable, I live in a safe community and country, do not have to worry about military coups, juntas, despots, barrel bombs. Where I can exercise my right and responsibility to vote my conscience freely without fear of reprisal, and believe my vote counts.