Canada now has roads that link Coast to Coast to Coast, Sea to Sea to Sea.

Today is the opening of the Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk all-weather road to the Arctic Ocean and I wish I was there.

I wish I was in the official motorcade, leaving the stunted spruce trees of the boreal forest around Inuvik, watching trees get shorter and smaller till there are no trees at all, passing the pingo pyramids, winding around the myriad lakes splashed on the tundra till we reach the sea and dip our toes in the Arctic Ocean, the goal of most tourists when they finally arrive in Tuktoyaktuk. Continue reading

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Prayers of the People: St. Philips by the Sea

What is happening in our world today? This is the context for this week’s Prayers of the People.

The memory of countries fighting other countries for power in World War 1 and 11.

The current reality of groups fighting other groups in the name of religion in Africa and the Middle East, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, the threat of a nuclear war in Asia and beyond.

Individual people fighting their own wars at a concert theatre, along a busy boulevard, on a bridge, at an airport, in a mosque – in a church.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes, tidal waves, earthquakes, wildfires, crop failures, famine … at a level seldom seen before.

Are these the Last Days prophesied by the Bible? Is this the hand of Satan?

“Keep awake,” Jesus told his disciples. “for you know neither the day nor the hour.”

In such circumstances, Paul asks us to encourage one another with God’s promise, and the hope of our resurrection in Christ.

Healing divisions, seeking reconciliation with God, our families, our neighbours, our countries, is never more urgent than today.

What can we do? Where can we go for help?

Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” He is real. He is waiting for us.

On this day, one day after Remembrance Day, I want to tell you a vivid childhood experience that I have shared with very few for fear of being ridiculed, but which has had an impact on my life ever since.

When I was eight years old and in Australia, I had a vision. I was waiting in the vestibule for a bath between the washhouse where we boiled water over an open fire and the bathroom. My father slipped and dropped a big tub of scalding hot water over my naked body.

As I sat crying on the table, unable to stand, waiting to be taken to hospital, a bright shining light lit up a dark corner of the vestibule and I saw an angel dressed in glowing white just like the angels in my Sunday School books. I cannot remember any words but I thought I was going to Heaven right then and there. I felt safe. Now 72 years later, when times are tough, that vision reappears in my memory. I know that God is real.

In our Prayers of the People today, let us realize our own visions of the Living Christ standing here in the midst of us, offering His help for our problems whatever they may be.”

After the words, LORD OF PROMISE AND TRUST, please respond with LET US SEEK AND REJOICE IN YOU.


O God, Almighty and All-Knowing, make haste to help us in these days of anger, jealousy, power-seeking, distressing political turmoil, distrust in one another, and increasing violence. Send Your Holy Spirit to breathe through us with peace, courage, understanding and hope for a better world.

Give us and our leaders, the words and the actions to inspire all who hold power on our planet, in our nation and home towns, to turn the weapons of today into tools of justice, righteousness, harmony and stability. We pray especially for leaders in the United States, China,

Russia, Europe, Canada, South Korea – and especially North Korea – to make the right decisions for all of us.



O God, Almighty and All-Knowing, as our hearts weep with those who mourn, here and around the world, help us to find and extend consolation to others in Your faithful assurance of life everlasting. We pray especially for the people of Texas and those still reeling with the recent absence of loved ones in our own community.



O God, Almighty and All-Knowing, grant our spiritual leaders the purity of heart, the wisdom of Christ, and the strength of faith to guide our soul journeys toward Your Eternal Kingdom. We pray especially for our rector and all rectors, for our bishops, our missionaries, for our doctors, nurses and aid workers, for the people of our parishes who share money and time to serve others, at home and abroad.



O God, Almighty and All-Knowing, comfort all who suffer serious physical or emotional pain, or desperate life circumstances, we each know someone in need – we name them now in our hearts – give us the willingness and the tools to help them where and when we can. Use our hands to do Your work.



O God our Source, our Saviour, our Destination, grant us the will, the wisdom, and the inner peace to rise each day to face our fears, decry injustice, and keep our souls awake and alert for the unknown day and hour when we will have a new joy-filled life with You. We ask this through Jesus, our Coming Christ, and the Holy Spirit, our Advocate, who, together with You, reign as One God, in heaven, on earth, and beyond all time and space.


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The Eagles Are Renovating Their Back Yard Nest Again!

BOOKS BEGIN IN BACKYARDS is the title of one of my public presentations and reflects a lifetime of writing and taking pictures of what I see in my own backyard, literally, or what happens to me personally. Get close to your subject. Write what you know best. This has been my mantra for many years.

I could spend my days just staring out the windows that line the back of my home here on Nanoose Bay as I have spent past years staring out the window onto Mill Bay, the Mackenzie River, and in years past, Island View Beach. I have published stories titled The World at My Window and books about life in my various backyards close to civilization like There’s a Seal in my Sleeping Bag, Gypsy in the Classroom and Tabasco the Saucy Raccoon, or far away places such as There’s a Raccoon in my Parka or Winging it in the North. Continue reading

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Where Eagles Swim

This is a rare classic from the 1960s. Wildlife biologist David Hancock and his wife Lyn set out to study bald eagles and other wildlife. Their work was followed worldwide and films like “Where Eagles Swim” were screened for sell-out audiences. Continue reading

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Kneeling is Healing


Happy Thanksgiving Day and Harvest Festival Friends and Family! It was my turn to do “Prayers of the People” when we came together at Church on Sunday to give thanks to God for all his gifts –  especially the miracle of life seen in what can be harvested from a single seed or bulb.

Today or tomorrow, our tables will be laden with bounteous food which we will share with our families and friends in peace in the comfort of our homes.

We thank God truly for these blessings.But I have had trouble writing the prayers of the people this week.

Where was God during these past weeks of madness, hate, mental illness and violence, of massacres, floods and hurricanes, of ethnic cleansing of one people and their religion by another, of so much devastation in so many countries, of so many threatening words and provocative actions from world leaders that could lead to the end of our wonderful planet.

Continue reading

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Getting Away From It All in Sarteneja


Winching yourself by hand on a ferry across two rivers is a unique way of getting to Sarteneja from Corozal

After what happened to me on my first day in Belize (see my recent blog BETWEEN TWO BULLETS IN BELIZE) I escaped to my computer in Sarteneja, a remote Mayan-Mestizo village on the Caribbean Sea, close to Mexico. In Belize I live in a simple, humble, ‘home-made’ but strikingly coloured turquoise house, a construction project which is a story in itself. It shows what can be done with little money, scarcely any tools other than a hammer and a machete, and a lot of ingenuity and improvisation. Continue reading

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Eagles in my Backyard

Two days now and the nest tree in my backyard is empty. No chirps, no chitters, no squeals. No longer are the parent eagles winging over my lawn with long fish hanging from their talons and landing on the nest to feed their young. It is the first day of August and they must have finally left for the salmon spawning now in northern rivers. How I would love to tag along with them and see how Junior is managing to find its own fish.  I may never see Junior again but I am sure that come fall the parent eagles will be back with brush to renovate their nest for the next spring season.

I remember last October sitting at my kitchen table and seeing an adult eagle flying by with a long branch of dry broom hanging from its talons. I grabbed my point and shoot and happily snapped a picture of the Eagle Witch on her broomstick at Hallowe’en. Continue reading

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