Tag Archives: Welcome

A Song of Joy

Image by Eoin Carey

This week’s post takes the form of a letter to four brilliant performers (one of whom is also a friend) whose show I went to see this week. Apologies if specific references lose or confuse any readers. Please bear with me…

Dear Drew, Kieran, Julia and Gav,

Last night I came to see Rantin. Thank you.

Thank you for creating a piece of entertainment which really mattered; a performance which I panicked about halfway through. My panic was this: how can we make sure that everyone in Scotland sees this? Especially, how can we make sure that every young person in Scotland sees this? Continue reading

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The Year Ago Gift…

A year ago, yesterday, we were blessed with the birth of our 3rd child, a daughter, Eliot Dawn. I wrote about the experience of having the opportunity to welcome her into the world in our own home, with the help of midwives, around this time last year. To read this post again, or for the first time:  Eliot Dawn arrives with a lesson…

Wall of Eliot...

Wall of Eliot…

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The Thrill of the Welcome

My neighbours taught me how to be a neighbour.

Over four years ago, my partner and I arrived in Ratho, and were quietly given the warmest welcome I had ever encountered to a community. Our neighbours in one direction brought us wine and the offer (enthusiastically accepted) to fetch us fish and chips for our first evening’s meal. Our neighbour in the other direction left a card on the doorstep that first night; by the next afternoon we were in her living room drinking tea. It was all simple stuff, but bravely offered when we were still totally unknown. It was all I needed to feel that I had moved from a vague, sprawling locality to a neighbourhood.

New neighbour alert!

New neighbour alert!

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A Warm Reminder…

Peering out of our descending aircraft this past Wednesday, my eyes gazed a scene unfamiliar to me…snow, ice and bitter cold.

Brr...

Brr…

Landing in Chicago for the 2013 TASH Conference, ready to meet up with old friends and colleagues, as well as meet new friends, I was unaware of the physical reminder I’d walk in and out of all week…reminding me of why we named this blog Come In From The Cold. Being from San Diego, the streets don’t look like, and certainly don’t feel like this. Continue reading

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Every Day Is A Gift

Here in the states, Thanksgiving Day came and went.  As I evolve, my belief is that this particular holiday offers an opportunity for people to embrace gratitude.  If you’ve been a follower of this blog, you’ll know I believe sending out your gratitude every day is something to aim for…but is not always reached (certainly for me).  In this short film by Louie Schwartzberg, through his brilliant photography and cinematography, he captures the gifts surrounding us each and every day.  He invites us to treat every day as if it were our ‘first day of life and last day of life’…and if we approach each day like this, ‘then it will really be a good day.’  Take 6 minutes to watch this film and try not to have an ear-to-ear smile emerge within the first 30 seconds and stay throughout the film.

I repeat these words internally daily, externally almost daily and practice them as best I can (which is certainly not daily).  Relentless positivity is the foundation of Come In From The Cold, a value Linda and I agreed on at the genesis of this adventure.  This short film encompasses just that…and as he says in the film, ‘every day is a gift.’

Be well my friends…

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Every Day Is A Gift

Here in the states, Thanksgiving Day came and went.  As I evolve, my belief is that this particular holiday offers an opportunity for people to embrace gratitude.  If you’ve been a follower of this blog, you’ll know I believe sending out your gratitude every day is something to aim for…but is not always reached (certainly for me).  In this short film by Louie Schwartzberg, through his brilliant photography and cinematography, he captures the gifts surrounding us each and every day.  He invites us to treat every day as if it were our ‘first day of life and last day of life’…and if we approach each day like this, ‘then it will really be a good day.’  Take 6 minutes to watch this film and try not to have an ear-to-ear smile emerge within the first 30 seconds and stay throughout the film.

I repeat these words internally daily, externally almost daily and practice them as best I can (which is certainly not daily).  Relentless positivity is the foundation of Come In From The Cold, a value Linda and I agreed on at the genesis of this adventure.  This short film encompasses just that…and as he says in the film, ‘every day is a gift.’

Be well my friends…

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Checking in…

Well, I observed, observed, observed, as promised. So, here are some early reflections on my two weeks of pondering setting up a community feast in Ratho

1.  People are kind. I actually already knew this (clever me, eh?!) but it really is starker when you are nervous about something and everyone is supportive and lovely about it. Messages of support came via Facebook, from friends in the village, and in the response of the local Community Development Worker. Continue reading

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Places of Goodness

As mentioned, last month, I made my annual journey to the Toronto Summer Institute.  One of the many great lessons learned smacked me across my face via friend and colleague Tim Vogt.  I’ll get to Tim in a bit. (By the way, if you haven’t yet had the opportunity to read the blog Tim hosts, you must!  It is fabulous. www.cincibility.wordpress.com)  We spent 3 days together in a module hosted by Connie Lyle O’Brien and Lynda Kahn, centered around the idea of isolation.  Our group, about 12 people each day, shared personal stories of not belonging, feeling isolated and about friends and family members experiencing these feelings.  We shared how we actually may be contributing to isolation, entering into a vulnerability where support and real ideas emerged. Continue reading

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Table for one at the Gratitude Cafe…

Highway 101 just outside Santa Barbara...

Highway 101 just outside Santa Barbara…

Driving down Highway 101 from Santa Barbara to San Diego early Sunday morning, along the familiar coastline I’ve traveled seemingly all my life, a line from Jason Mraz passes through the speakers in the car:  “I keep my life on a heavy rotation, requesting that it’s lifting you up, up, up and away…and over to a table at the Gratitude Cafe.”  This analogy of placing yourself into a metaphorical space to be mindful of your gratitude for life, resonates deeply. Continue reading

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The Gathering…

Stone Soup

Stone Soup

I’m blessed to have happened across a global community of colleagues, friends and loved ones 4 years ago at the Toronto Summer Institute. This year, along with Chris Lee, Sheldon Schwitek, Peter Leidy, Beth Gallagher, Michelle Schwartz Continue reading

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