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What's on YOUR mind?

Once in a while we are all pulled together by a common cause. Case in point: the Ottawa Senators. What explanation is there that an entire city, indeed one of the most multicultural and diverse cities in Canada, can be pulled together so tightly in such a short period of time? And seemingly so easily…

Such is the power of sport. We are a proud city, us Ottawans. While we are individually so different and come from so many different places and upbringings, we have this wonderful hockey team that reminds us of how we are, in fact, unified.

It was a truly inspirational year. The city adopted the role of the underdog from the very beginning. We weren’t supposed to accomplish anything. We squeaked into the playoffs by the skin of our teeth and forced the conference favourite Rangers to a 7-game series, won by a single goal on the back of sure to be Vezina trophy winner Henrik Lundqvist.

I don’t mean to echo what every newspaper will report in the coming days. But I do feel compelled to mention the emotional high that this team has imposed on the city. They are the one constant in a time of uncertainty for some; a staple in the lives of many who have lived here for a long time. They showed perseverance and passion that everyone should strive to replicate in their lives every single day. The magic power of togetherness is something that should not be overlooked.

I am proud of my team and of my city. We handled this loss with humility. Let’s all remember to be good neighbors even when the season has come to a close. Stay classy, Canada.


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Slowly, buds are coming out on the trees. It’s nature’s reminder to us that there is still an innate desire to live and thrive in this world, polluted as it is with destruction and negative thoughts. Yet I still manage to think that if we were all in a position where our lives were on the line, we would fight to the end to preserve it. I sure would. I have so much to lose and yet so much still to gain.

This morning my friend was telling me how she loves this time of year, when you can still see the skeletal limbs of the trees underneath the sprouting buds of their bony branches. I asked her why she felt this way, especially since most prefer the red, orange and yellow canvas outlining autumn-time highways. “It’s about waking up,” is what she told me.

She put it into such human terms. Waking up, something we all do each day. But have you ever wondered if the trees want to come back each year? Would you wake up each day knowing that you would be discarded for several months of the year? The only time anybody really notices trees anyway is when they bud in the spring and when they dud in the fall. They might make it into a painting or two, but has there ever been a painting worth mentioning in which a single tree was the focal point?

I wonder about all the things these trees have seen. All the unspeakable crimes in long forgotten, out of sight forests. All the blossoming romances on inviting park benches. These trees have looked on as neighbourhoods were built all around them while their siblings were being torn down, replaced by shopping malls and parking lots. Weeks without water and weeks without sun. Chaperones to lost animals with nowhere left to go. With so many branches but no ability to swat at the dogs who urinate without the slightest regard on them.

It’s a bleak existence, a tree might tell you. And yet each year they come back to life. Maybe my friend was right. Maybe it’s all about waking up.

I want to live with that same drive to come back when I feel forgotten.

Once in a while I need to step back and realize how much good there is in my life. In every little thing around me.

I have such wonderful friends. All in their own ways.

Things are starting to look up. Today I finished second year of university. I’m getting older and the world is starting to make more sense.

If you are one of the few who reads this, I want you to know that there is a lot of power in your hands. You can influence things that you never thought you could. Just be yourself and it’s enough.

Today was a good day. A rainy day, but a good day.

Clouds stretched across the city
As I stepped out of bed.
And I couldn’t help but think:
“How I dread lousy weather.”

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Another bland, normal day goes by and eventually I find myself on the bus coming home.  It’s late at night now, about midnight, and not many people are on the bus.  The busses are really unreliable at this time of the night; sometimes they stop running even before the last bus is supposed to do its route because there haven’t been any people riding.

Nevertheless, the bus comes tonight.  I get on and there is only one person on the bus.  It’s a little girl, probably about age ten or eleven, and I wonder what she’s doing on the bus, downtown, at this hour.  I sit beside her, figuring we could both use some company.

“What are you doing?” she asks.

“What do you mean?  I’m going home,” I tell her.

“Well, I know that,” she says.  “I mean why are you sitting beside me?  Look at all the other seats on the bus.”  This catches me off guard, but I guess I should have known better.  “Excuse me,” she says, and pushes past me to sit in isolation at the other end of the bus.  What a society we live in, I think to myself, where a person can’t even sit beside another without being pushed away.  Surely, that’s not how humans are meant to live?

The bus ride passes and no more passengers get on the whole rest of the way.  I doze off for a little while and the trip is shorter than it would have been had I been awake the whole time.  I brush myself off and curl up in bed, alone, wondering why it is that I long so much for company while others, like that little girl, are so pleased being by themselves.

It’s a thought that manifests in my mind until I succumb to its complexity and give in to another day.

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Rejoice! At long last, a new year has almost arrived. It’s time to kick old habits to the curb and open the door with welcoming open arms to the newer, refined lifestyle that you’ve been just dying to start. Oh, please.

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‘Tis the season, but it sure doesn’t feel like it. Maybe it’s because here in Ottawa, there is a thin, practically non-existant layer of snow that just fell yesterday and doesn’t even promise to still be here tomorrow.  It’s something that we sure aren’t used to.  Usually there are heaps of snow that started falling as early as Halloween. But something is telling me that this isn’t the reason I’m still having a difficult time getting up for Christmas.

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