Glimmers is a new term, referring to those brief moments in your day that spark a sense of joy but often pass by without notice. I’m making a conscious effort to recognize the glimmers that light up my life, beginning with the sunrise.
Eleven Gleaming Glimmers
1. The Sunrise
I can count on one glimmer every day: the sun rising in the east. Since this is the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,” as described in the poem To Autumn by John Keats, I love to watch the mist over Lake Windermere rise to obscure Mount Swansea in the background and then dissolve into the brightening sky.
2. My First Coffee
Is there anything more satisfying than your first sip of a freshly brewed cup of coffee? And I am doubly blessed, because my husband makes the coffee and brings it to me in bed.
3. Dear Little Deer
My husband would take exception to this one, since these adorable creatures are destroying everything in our yard. They are so plentiful here that they make themselves right at home — even sleeping on my daughter’s deck! But I still secretly love to see these beautiful wild animals tripping daintily around the neighbourhood.
4. Dear Old Friends
One of my favourite veterans, 104-year-old Jim Ashworth of Invermere, B.C., was recently presented with a Quilt of Valour. Members of this non-profit society sew and donate quilts to veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces. His nephew Nick Jeffrey and I were happy to attend the presentation. Jim still lives in his own home, and he had coffee ready for everyone when we arrived.
The whole event was one big glimmer, especially when Jim said he wanted a picture of himself with “the kids.” It’s the first time since my mother died that someone called me a kid!
5. Book Clubs
This month I made my forty-sixth book club visit! We met at the home of Jack and Cathy Moes in Cranbrook, B.C., gifted artists who also belong to a very lively book club. I never expect anything in return, but Cathy presented me with an original piece of art as a thank you gift. Titled Exalted, it’s crafted from wood and metal and represents a view of our neighbouring mountains. What a special memento of a wonderful evening!
If you would like to see more of their work, click here for Jack and Cathy’s business website: Secret Art.
After much deliberation, I decided to hang it beside my front door where I will get a glimmer every time I walk into the house. I love the way the art mirrors my own view of trees and mountains.
And if you belong to a book club, please invite me to visit your group in person or via Zoom — I’m shooting for one hundred!
6. Using My Hands
Creating something with your hands is immensely satisfying. I went to a local pottery workshop recently with the grandkids, and we all made ceramic birdhouses. Mine is strictly decorative (and I use the term loosely), but I glued a little wooden meadowlark into the opening.
7. My Grandchildren
I never see the grandchildren without experiencing a level of joy that goes way beyond glimmers. When the two youngest boys started kindergarten this month, we made them “schuletutes” or school cones — cardboard cones filled with candy. It’s a German tradition that we have carried on with all the grandchildren.
My own husband Heinz received his schuletute when he started school in Berlin way back in 1955.
8. My Dear Little Town
My mountain resort town of Invermere was blanketed with forest fire smoke for much of the summer, so it is a pleasure to see it in bright sunshine once again. The town does a great job with its public flowerbeds, and the main street always looks so colourful and inviting. I love to walk downtown, admire the flowers, and greet friends and acquaintances.
9. Hanging Out My Laundry
Because of said smoke, I couldn’t hang my laundry all summer. Now I’m making up for lost time. There’s nothing nicer than snuggling between sheets that have been dried in the wind and the sunshine, especially in our fresh mountain air.
10. My Book Pile
My night table always has a revolving stack of books to read, and I almost rub my hands with anticipation whenever I see it.
Here’s a recap of my current pile, which features plenty of Canadian content:
The Englishman’s Boy is a re-read for me, brilliant and memorable historical fiction by Canadian author Guy Vanderhaeghe.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens is a popular new novel set in the Deep South that has been made into a miniseries. It was recommended by my daughter.
The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olive Oatman by Margo Mifflin is a true story concerning a young American girl who was kidnapped by an indigenous tribe and then returned to white culture.
Quitting the Master Race: A Daughter’s Journey to Break the Bonds of Hate is a memoir by my Ottawa friend Barbara Leimsner, about her German father who clung to his Nazi beliefs even after the war ended.
Take Me Back to Cairo by Pamela Paterson and Tarek Hussein was sent to me by one of the authors, who asked very nicely if I would review it. It’s described as a love story between conflicting cultures.
Rabbit Foot Bill by Helen Humphreys takes place in my native Saskatchewan, based on an actual murder that happened there in 1947.
Fatal Passage: The Untold Story of John Rae, the Arctic Adventurer Who Discovered the Fate of Franklin is a non-fiction book by prolific Canadian author and historian Ken McGoogan.
Nellie McClung was a Canadian feminist and social activist who has always fascinated me, and this particular biography must be good because it was written by the esteemed biographer Charlotte Gray.
11. Digital Books
I also read books on my trusty iPad, often while admiring the sunrise AND drinking my first cup of coffee.
I highly recommend this lovely little romantic comedy by my friend Liz Treacher, an author who invited me to her home in the Scottish highlands when we travelled there last summer. She even served fresh homemade scones!
This novel, a love story between a strait-laced proofreader and the amiable hippie who steals her heart, is set in Liz’s nearby town of Dornoch and is available for just $3.99 from Amazon Canada. Or you can order the paperback for $17.99.
This is Liz’s fourth novel and I have enjoyed them all. Here’s the link to order the digital version: Vegan Recipes for New Age Men.
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Friends, here’s wishing you plenty of joy — both in the small moments and the larger aspects of your life. If you would like to share your own glimmers, post them in the comments below or drop me an email.
Next month I will mark a special milestone: the tenth anniversary of writing this newsletter! Thank you for allowing me to share it with all of you.
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