Our Stories Define Us

September 2, 2018

sunrise or sunset

Which do you prefer? A sunrise or a sunset? Why?

I am partial to a sunrise because I feel I can start fresh. It’s a tableau blanc.


my photo is upside down until I figure out why

This year we began our annual backcountry canoe trip in the north west area of Killarney Provincial Park. The entire park is 645 square kilometres with the wild Georgian Bay Coast of pink granite; the La Cloche Mountains’ white quartzite ridges and over 50 clear, sapphire lakes among a multitude of Jack Pines. No wonder the Group of Seven painted here and persuaded the Ontario government to make it a park.


I used this word a few times on the trip. As a noun, it means the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties. On a canoe trip I was not only up against muscle fatigue but when my thermarest lost all the air and I “slept” on the cold hard ground, I had to overcome the chill (no hot showers in the woods) and mental fatigue.

Psychologists have identified some factors that make you resilient. They include a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. I can say I have three of the four as I am not always able to regulate my emotions.


this photo is sideways until I figure out why

The sunrise is like a reboot to the previous day. If I leave early enough on my bicycle ride to work, I’ll see a sunrise next to Lake Ontario but there are usually buildings in the way. Up north, there is nothing in the way except some trees and even then it provides an inspiring view.


I am inspired by a landscape, a person, a thought, a breeze all within the moment when I am in the outdoors breathing crisp, fresh air.


until I figure out why

While I was trying to be “one” with the sunrise, I still had a monkey mind. Thinking about all the things that have happened, will happen or could happen instead of just breathing.

Take a moment to watch this delightful video by Mingyur Rinpoche a Tibetan Buddhist Master.

Are you breathing? Did you get one breath or two?

I was meditating while carrying a canoe.


I was meditating while sitting on a rock next to Nellie Lake.


I was meditating as I gazed at the campfire.

off the grid

Why is it so easy to meditate while away from the city? Gosh. I think I know the answer. I was unplugged. Off the grid. No signal. Just five other women and a tarp to put up in case it rains! Basic needs.

created by robertson mcclure