Category: family

Happy Canada Day!

We hope you all have a wonderful long weekend, filled with family, friends, sunshine and joy! For those of you that do not know, I am not Canadian by birth, I am in fact British born, and California raised, finding myself back in the Uk at 15 where I stayed for 11 years. When people ask, “where are you from?” I have to take a minute to decide which version I should share, the lengthy one, or the brief one, both of which usually heed the response, so how did you end up here? Well that, in itself, is another long story, so I then decide which track I want to take, the short or the long .

How I ended up here always amazes me, meeting my now husband Chuck in Malta, I never imagined we would end up in St Thomas, Ontario, Canada. A small town, holding many of the same people who were born and raised. Having an adventurous spirit and desire to explore new places, I was certainly up for exploring this town my husband was from, just to visit.

Briefly coming here in 2002, I enjoyed my time in St Thomas and travelling to Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec City. There was a “feeling” I got from Canadians as a whole, and it was something to the effect of, kind, generous, polite with a good dose of humor along with a strength that I hadn’t witnessed for some time. This strength comes from getting through the winters, but also a sense of togetherness, like we are all going through the seasons together. Shoveling snow in the early mornings, to lighting up the BBQ’s in the summer, I felt a sense of inclusiveness that isn’t always the case in other areas I have lived.

With that, it took us almost 2 years before we were to return, this time with a new baby and a sense of excitement as we embarked on our new journey as a family of three, committed to living in Canada, and hoping to live off the land.

You see, it was the expansiveness and spaciousness that really caught my eye when first visiting. Living in the UK for so long, we could hop on a train and ride the length of the country in 8 hours, yet in Canada, it took us 8 hours just to get to another province! There was just so much space, and room to grow, we quickly decided that raising our children on the land was the thing we wanted most.

We didn’t move to the country straight away, it took us almost 5 years for the farm to find us, and I mean that honestly, as the property was never “for sale”. It just happened to land at our feet at the perfect time, and before we knew it, we had 3 months to pack up and move in to our now family farm we named Wildflowers.

We have seen such growth in our community since arriving here in 2004. The community has brought in many of the same stories, of people wanting more to be in touch with the land, getting out of the big city, and starting afresh. The amount of small businesses that have arrived, including artists, chefs, famers, visionaries, makers- Elgin County itself has flourished, and we couldn’t be happier to see this.

Our community has embraced us, and in turn, has inspired us to give back and provide the best service, events and experiences that we can.

Not only has our community embraced us, but the land has given back to us in so many ways, from the tree plantings flourishing, the plants, the wildflowers that continue to pop up and offer their gifts, to the animals and humans (!) it brings, we couldn’t feel more blessed and lucky to call Wildflowers and Canada our home. Happy Canada Day!

 

Coming Home

Our family recently embarked on a trip “back home” to San Diego, California and then a road trip to Tucson Arizona to end the year. Our trip started off with our plane having a small engine fire. As we were taking off, the smell of smoke filled the air, I can’t say I have ever been more terrified. There is one thing to smell fire where you know you can escape, or at least get help, but to be lifting off of the ground, knowing there is nowhere to go brought me to a place I hope to never return. Knowing my small children were there with us, looking to us for comfort, pushed me beyond my comfort level. Needless to say, we made an emergency landing back into the airport, and got off safe and sound.

What was really interesting, was that I was seated next to a woman, whom throughout the duration of the short take off and landing, talked about how blessed she was to do her life’s work, how many miracles she had witnessed as she brought victims of the holocaust to the “Holy Land” and how she trusted that when it is her time, she will know. I felt as though I was seated next to an angel, talking me through the chaos, and reminding me to trust.

Still shaken after that episode, it can only really sink in now that I am home safe and sound. WE COULD HAVE DIED, what I have feared for so many years about flying ACTUALLY HAPPENED, and WE CAME OUT ALRIGHT. I cannot agree more, that it wasn’t our time, that despite my biggest fears, it ended well, and now it is time to step into 2017 with trust, devotion and gratitude, to let go of old fears, worries and doubts- for we have this life to live, that the present moment is where we can find joy, and all the small stuff can be put to rest. That it is time to come home, to self, to walk this path of healing, to allow myself to be guided through the work I know I am meant to do. I’m ready 2017 and I hope you are too!

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Wildflowers Farm Video

 

 

 

As I apprehensively write my first submission to my blog, I realize this is perfect timing. On the eve of a full harvest moon, I reflect back, as to all things I am able to harvest. We certainly as a family have been on quite a ride. From moving to Canada from the UK, to finding a wee home in the suburbs to call our own, to finding our dream home surrounded by tall trees and red clover fields, we feel truly blessed.

Our gardens are a reflection of who we are at this moment, so why is mine full of weeds?! Feeling slightly frazzled and over worked, we have brought upon us more “weeds” than we would like. This harvest moon is a reminder of taking what we need, and letting go of what no longer serves us.

As I pull out plants that are not supposed to be there, I ponder, knowing full well the advantages these plants have, and the gifts they have to offer. I use these plants as medicine, whether it is the chickweed, alfalfa, dandelions, they all serve a purpose. Why are they popping up in the gardens? These plants are known as dynamic nutrient accumulators. They are opportunists, popping up wherever they can, allowing the soil to be nourished. I realize as I decide who stays and who goes, that they all serve a purpose, much like the people in our lives. We may wish we wouldn’t have to have that run in with an angry person, or get caught up in gossip; however, these incidences are all here to serve us. Reminding us again who we truly are, and that we carry all of these personalities within us. Which relationships will we nourish, and which ones do we just accept, learn from and move on.

As my kids kick it into high gear on full moons, my patience gets tested. Rather than chase my tail, I took my troops out into the garden, to harvest some lovely herbs. We found ourselves standing amongst the Lemon Balm, a beautiful plant that is said to “make the heart merry”- indeed it did. As we picked, weeded, gathered and brought back our bounty, I was completely astounded as to how much therapy a garden visit can be. Feeling the abundance that is in bloom right now, and harvesting on this harvest moon, brought me gently back to earth. When in doubt, get in the garden.