The Joy of My Life

The content of this post is self-centered.   I dare not count how many times, I type, “I”.  Far too often, I fear!  Something inside me aches to write about ME, however, and so I am going forward.

I treasure my life these days.  That’s because I have joy in what I do.  I paint because it brings me joy…not because I need to meet a deadline or I have to achieve my quota before the weekend.  I don’t paint for approval.  For years, (more years than I care to remember) I set my alarm for four a.m. and rolled out of bed, painting with oils for three hours before the rest of the family got up.  Most nights, after the dishes were done and the children were tucked into bed, I pulled out the canvases again…working sometimes until midnight.  I carried on like that and raised children at the same time. (reading stories, carving pumpkins, making bunny cakes,  sewing costumes, observing Advent, cooking meals)


I taught school full time and completed report cards four times a year for thirty years.  At the core, I loved painting, but on the surface, I often thought about all of those wonderful things that I hadn’t the time for…hadn’t the energy for.  I watched other people live their lives and wondered what they were all doing, while I painted.

Tree of Life 2010-2012

These days, I paint because it is my passion.  I love watching the ‘magic’ of it.  I feel giddy about it.  It is not my work, but my play.  Sometimes it is so beautiful that it leaves me breathless…the  ‘doing of it is’ beautiful; the art isn’t necessarily…but, the ‘doing of it’ always is.

I pick up other people’s garbage.  This gives me joy.  Yes!  It’s endless and there will always be more.  But it is a satisfying feeling to see the land after I’ve been there, again and again.  I know, at the least, that I have given something to the heart of the planet.

One Bag: April 24, 2012

I write.  I write poems and descriptions of all sorts.  I write letters and prayers.  The more I write, the more I know how much words have always meant to me.  Written words came and come easily, always, and I treasure them.

Taking photographs of common-place objects, settings and people, gives me joy.  I like to take down a visual history of things around me.   I see value in archives and this is just who I am and I delight in that.

By the Tracks

Now, I make short movies.   I like to explore and think about animation and what fun it must be to choose to do this all of the time and at a greater scale.  I like that this is something that once I would have been fearful to try, but on my own, I have discovered and experienced.

I spend much time outdoors; observing the sky and enjoying nature.  The past few years, I have especially enjoyed watching the variety of birds that are in our area.  I didn’t take notice of them before.  But having taken a huge interest in endangered species since 2006, I am mindful of many more things and grow in knowledge about birds every day.   We can’t be activists for all things, but we can educate ourselves a little bit every day and live consciously.

April 24, 2012: At one point, no fewer than 30 Yellow-headed Blackbirds in a Tree

If I hadn’t made the decision to own a dog again, I wouldn’t be outside in all of the different seasons.  When it rains, I put on my gum boots.  When it snows, I bundle up.  Like clockwork, I am outdoors with Max delighting in the silent mornings while so many others are sleeping and again in the late afternoon.  I have explored most of the parks of our city this way and feel enriched because of it.

Max and I visit Kootenay Lake

I read a book each week.  Inside the front cover of each book, I write a summary of my thoughts about that book and I write the date and my name and my place of residence.  One day someone might pick up that book and wonder about the inscription in the front.

About Prisoner of Tehran by Marina Nemat, I wrote…

I am thrilled that I am able to read.  My mother loved to read.  Now, with alzheimer’s disease, she can’t.  I am grateful each time I hold a book in my hands and can think about the story, the characters and enter into the settings.  As I have typed this paragraph, I know that my mother motivates me more than anyone right now…her life tells me that I have only time to fill my life with joy.  I haven’t time to waste on things that bring me less.


I am digging as deep as is possible into my faith;   understanding and expression of my Catholicity.   I want to know my Creator-God.  I want to be a friend to him.


I treasure my friendships and my family…so many good men and women who have made my life a joy!  My children make me proud and as I watch them grow, I treasure the memory of who they were as wee ones and who they are today.

Proud Mom of the Bride!

This is a time of wonderment.  This is the joy of my life.

5 thoughts on “The Joy of My Life

  1. I don’t know where you are (I think I saw, but have forgotten), but in Texas we have a state program where a group volunteers to clean a stretch of highway. I think it’s required, if they sign to do it, twice a year. There are signs posted saying things like “This 2-mile stretch of road is cleaned by the National Honor Society of Blank High School”. Do you have anything like that where you live?

    • I’m in Alberta…and we have an Adopt a Park program. I have been working these months on a piece of Corporate Land (and this basically means that no one company will take responsibility), so next month I will be adopting a piece of City Parkland. That way I will have the support of other like-minded people. Thank you for the visit AND for the comment. You have a poet’s soul!

  2. Thank you for your beautiful heart-felt words, reflections and pictures. As I think you know I am also a retired teacher and I thought I was using my time fully until I read what you are doing. You are an inspiration and an amazing person. Your meditations on your life pulled me out of my recent slump and reminded me of all of the great joys, memories and influences of my own life; especially, as for you, my mum, who I miss more than I can say. I am not an orthodox religious person although I feel drawn to the inner explorations of Buddhist teachings; the spiritual world of the ancient cultures of Mexico and the pre-Christian Celtic beliefs of Druidic and Wiccan cultures (my UK ancestors). I have also felt the power of your Catholic beliefs in my travels in Europe and Mexico. I often ‘sat-in’ on Catholic services in Italy and Mexico for the spiritual beauty of the singing, music, art and the humble and total Belief of the congregation. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I could relate to the strong Catholicism of your blog; however, this post connects to me with so much Light that I am now Following you.
    I feel that there is a place, a field of human inner and outer experience, where we can all connect, despite our particular beliefs.

  3. I can not tell you, Mr. Clinock, how touched I am by your heart-felt remark. I am little known and I DO understand that since 2005, I really have never found a single focus for my blog. I tend to weave in and out of all sorts of experiences…some related to my faith journey, art, the objects that live with me, my search for family history, love for writing and teaching, concerns about the landscape and all species, friendships and family.

    I appreciate that you have found some connection with the content, enough that you have become one of my readers. While reading your thoughts, I was especially sorry for the loss of your Mum. Honestly, at that point, I took pause because it is all so hard sometimes! On the internet we are all unique individuals, but so incredibly connected through our challenges and our joys and what we do with both. I feel particularly awed by the artist-soul in you. Thank you.

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