Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Happy Naw Ruz

"Haste thou to life before death cometh; haste thou to the spring season before autumn draweth in; and before illness striketh, haste thou to healing -- that thou mayest become a physician of the spirit who, with the breaths of the Holy Spirit, healeth all manner of sickness in this famed and glorious age."  (Abdu'l-Baha, Selections from the Writings of Abdu'l-Baha, p. 56)

 The first day of spring is a glorious time and to be our New Years is marvelous.  Here in Hamilton, Ontario Canada it was a beautiful day with warm sun and gentle breezes making the daffodils gently dance in temperatures around 23 C.  It was joyous day.  The only clouds on this day was that I am ill and could not attend our Holy Day celebration.

I found the above quote and was struck with the enormity of Abdu'l-Baha's instructions to us.  I was struck by how often we waste our time on trivia and then all of a sudden it is autumn or we are ill and unable to do what is the most important things in our lives.  Being sick does, however, have its benefits.  It allows us time while healing to contemplate what really is important in our lives.  Is purchasing a new this or that, or going doing this or that more important than serving this Beloved Cause?  Reflection assists one to refocus what our priorities must be.

Missing the Holy Day celebration was difficult but it has given me pause to think of what my priorities in service should be.  I must focus on love.  In my neighbourhood, love is a key to healing.  Seeing the nobility of each and everyone I encounter rather than knee jerking to some negatives.  This needs to be added to my daily journeys.

Happy Naw Ruz everyone.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Wanted to Share

I just posted my "RAP" so to speak about "How We Grew".  I participated in the Discovery Program at McMaster University.  This was a special program provided to 22 individuals who are from the lower social economic areas of Hamilton, ON.  We had our classes on Saturdays at the Main Branch of the Hamilton Public Library.  We read 4 books, Hamilton, a Peoples History by Bill Freeman; where the concrete desert blooms-a graphic novella by tings chak; Falling into Place by John Terpstra; and Road Work Ahead (poetry and images), an anthology.  We were very fortunate to have guest lecturers and our professor Daniel Coleman and his trusty sidekick Jeanette Eby and several mentoring McMaster University students to assist many of us first time "university students".  We each had a project to do and I chose to work on the history of my neighbourhood, McQuesten.  I really wanted to do a Rap but Lordy,  Lordy is that an art form and a half.  Never appreciated Rap until I started to research it.  So I created the Ode to McQuesten poem.

My project is a 6 panel display - 3 large and 3 small graphically showing the history of McQuesten neighbourhood.  Originally it was farmland then the airport and then today.  I interviewed many people and wrote brief comments from the interviews.

It was a great experience and am so grateful to have participated.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How We Grew - Ode to McQuesten Neighbourhood

First we had the neutrals
The original aboriginals
Along came the white man
Followed by the black man
Last stop on the underground line
We became everyone’s lifeline
For the Empire loyalists
They were the bravest
Look here at Mary Gage
Her children were teenage

They hued the trees
Man, woman and kiddies
Their strong arms
Built great farms
Now came the railroad
This created a new mode
For entrepreneurs like Auld
He built a Shop Yard
Out of a farmyard
In our fair city of Hamilton
They immediately took action
In the year 1928
They had reason to zonate

Elliot built an Airport
But Hamilton wouldn’t support
So they took 200 acres of land
Which had been fertile cropland

An airport they built
The land like a quilt
With a large hangar to serve the planes
They showed no restrains
As opening day approached
All looked for the skycoach
Goodyear came with their blimps
Everyone strained for a glimpse

Those Nazi Bastards
Started a war
Our men went off to scar
Hitler’s cigar and gizzard

Our service men returned
The Governments were concerned
A Housing Scheme was planned
On old City Airport land
In 1948 a new survey
Just East of the raceway
Called Parkdale Heights
Lessoned the vets plights
When five families
Received their keys

The need was still great
The City moved to abate
It was time to correct
So we built a new project

Construction was crazy
It was our bread and gravy
Mr Woodward living on Glennie
He won a TV
His imagination had a spark
And named it Roxborough Park

Construction didn’t dawdle
The area became a Model
For all of Canada to see
That’s not too shabby

Thomas McQuesten
Was a politician
As he was quite famed
A neighbourhood was named
Out of all the construction
Neighbours took action
Out of this we raised
A community anew
And that is how we grew.
First we had the neutrals
The original aboriginals
Along came the white man
Followed by the black man
Last stop on the underground line
We became everyone’s lifeline