When you help, you see life as weak;
when you fix, you see life as broken;
and when you serve, you see life as whole.
~ Rachel Naomi Remen

Tomas Halik

PROFILE

Jean Vanier, age 86, recently received the international Templeton Prize, which honors a living person who has made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.

This son of our Canadian Governor General Georges Vanier founded the international L’Arche movement, teaching us that serving the most vulnerable enables us to delve into our own deepest humanity and that life in community sharing our weaknesses and strengths creates a safety net for all.

Bring Back the Pain, by Naomi Wingfield

Bring Back the Pain

My dear one—
when you died the pain
was a jack-hammer destroying me.
In time it became a small hammer,
the size to hang a picture.

FOR THE COMPLETE POEM, click here: Wingfield10-Bring Back the Pain

Aging with Spirit News

Interview with Rabbi Rachel Cohen, author of Wise Aging

Aging in Community News

Housing Options for Older Adults in Hamilton

This resource guide provides important information about housing for seniors in Hamilton, Ontario. It is meant to help with the decision making process.

Interview with Seniors Co-Housing Architect Charles Durrett

How These Communities Save Energy—and Time for What Matters – feature in National Geographic

She Begged On The Streets So She Could Feed Every Orphan She Saw! (68-year-old orphan mother)

DundasLitFreeLibraryFrame


Book Review

Little Free Library Book
Margaret Aldrich; Coffee House Press, 2015

Aldrich’s colourful volume outlines the history and international settings of the Little Free Library movement for spreading literacy and building community.  Individuals put up a small house for books (modeled after a birdhouse) in their neighbourhood, stock it with books, post a sharing sign, and watch for developments.  Through hundreds of stories and numerous photographs, we learn how this grassroots movement began with one ‘free books’ little library in Wisconsin and now boasts more than 25,000 across the world.  For example, the first little free library in the Middle East was inspired by a young boy in Qatar, who with his father offered children’s books for the kids in his neighbourhood. The people-sized Little Free Libraries celebrate reading, bring people together, foster self-expression, create conversation, etc. In New York City individuals create Little Libraries with books in specific languages so that members of ethnic groups can read in their native tongue, while many of the Little Free Libraries around the world offer books for learning English for international communication.

The Little Free Libraries fit in with other community sharing, grassroots initiatives such as tool libraries, seed libraries, free cycling, food swaps, free lodging.

The photo above presents the latest Little Free Library – in Dundas, Ontario.

Writing Exercise

Write about Dr. Remen’s quotation at the top of this blog – how you have experienced serving rather than helping or fixing; or how you have been served in a way that enabled you to be more.  You might look around you for role models among people and among other living things.

With this shadow photo, I bid you adieu,

Ellen