Thinking of the United States

I have resisted thinking about United States politics during the past three months, keeping in mind that we have our own political problems in Canada. But today is the day Americans have their election and I have many American friends, including friends who are doctors, and they are worried. Every one of my American friends…

Zoom and Your Health

One advantage of face to face meetings was movement. I still have mostly face to face work, but on days when I work virtually, I have noticed that I barely move from my desk. You could say that it’s my own fault for not booking breaks in which to move, and I suppose this is…

Women Doctors in Art

A recent article highlighting medical services and doctors in art told a story that is common: women doctors are not being recognized. The article highlights ten famous paintings and not one of them depicts a woman doctor. While this is not surprising considering the eras in which they were painted, it is discouraging for women…

Peony People

The pandemic has shown many of us that we can be homebodies. It has shown us that, when our homes are nourishing, welcoming places, we can thrive. When I think of people living well at home, I think of peonies. Peonies are a perennial plant that live happily in one spot for decades, even a…

Lonely Struggle

Think about these qualities a person can have: Personal resilience Self-reliance Rugged individualism These three character traits are often cited in North American colonial culture as the pinnacle of human performance. Using the same paradigm, a person with these qualities can face and conquer any struggle in life. This being the case, anyone who values…

Lichen

I took time off from work last week – the first week I have had off since January 2020. It was not a complete holiday since I had gone away to write, but it was a complete break from my usual work. Internet was lousy and cell phone coverage was even worse. I disconnected from…

Is it Necessary?

Away from the hospital’s stark pandemic décor, away from the school’s minimalist remnants of collegiate life, there is a tranquility that is unaffected by contagion. Squirrels are the busy ones here bustling cheerily through the gold of a Canadian autumn and the dark, dark green of the many evergreens that are the stalwarts of a…

Gambling

It’s so unsettled now.COVID-19 cases are increasing and experts and politicians are sending signals that are meant to deter us:“The second wave is here!”“The number of cases is the highest since May.”“There are outbreaks again in Long Term Care.”Political leaders are holding briefings of the kind we saw in March when fear was at its…

Playing School

If you’re a parent, it helps to have a good memory. Remember being 4 years old and starting school. You arrive on the first day in a new outfit: a new sweater and shoes that are just a little too big. Your teacher is giving you books and a fat pencil to learn to write…

Coming of Age

In Susan Cooper’s book, The Dark Is Rising, the main character, Will Stanton, is turning eleven. One of the important elements of the story is that, with his eleventh birthday, Will comes into his power as one of the Old Ones, who form a circle of protection around the earth from the Dark. As Will…