This section includes posts about Northumberland and the surrounding area. Sitting on the patio of the Oasis Restaurant downtown Cobourg on a perfect summerâ€™s day I thought I could do this: I could live here. A few months later when I was thinking about applying for a new job, I applied in this regionâ€“and voila! Here I am!! I've lived in Cobourg since July 2011.
My cousin and I started smudging together in the 1990s. Aunt Pat gave us our first sage and abalone shell bowls. We learned about ceremony. We learned about the value of sacred time together.
Last summer I bought a beautiful smudging feather with a pink quartz handle that stands proudly in an oak base. It was created by First Nations artist LinDaLou. The staff told us that the artist visits the Centre, setting up a table by the fire for a few days to assemble them. We loved that it was created in a space that means so much to us.
For a week this summer I stayed in residence at Trent University, my alma mater.
It surprised me to realize that I hadn’t been back to Otonabee since the late nineties. When I signed up for an intensive theatre course (offered through Theatre Ontario at Trent), I knew I would feel nostalgic but I wasn’t prepared for this. Returning to my first home away from home was a transformational experience.
This summer I decided to attendÂ as much theatre as possible. I wanted to reflect onÂ how audiences responded to diverse titles, how directors used the space, how designers created a visual feast, and how the actors conveyed story in a way that connected with me. What impressed me in this quest was the vitality of theatre, the energy of the performers, the enthusiasm of the audience, and the magic created byÂ the production crews.Â Theatre in Ontario is dynamic and alive.
Tickets are selling. Don’t miss out! Here are my top 10 reasons why you shouldÂ click here and buy your tickets for “The Secret Garden” right now:
10. To experience truly gorgeous music. The lyrics and score are stunning. The vocalists and musicians are outstanding. If I’m regularly getting goosebumps up both arms in rehearsals, then I know that the music will meltÂ you with its dynamic, red velvet texture.
“The place was a wilderness of autumn gold and purple and violet blue and flaming scarlet on every side were sheaves of late lilies standing together–lilies which were white or white and ruby…Late roses climbed and hung and clustered and the sunshine deepening the hue of the yellowing trees made one feel that one stood in an empowered temple of gold.” The Secret Garden,Â Frances Hodgson Burnett.
When I was I was sixteen I went to England for the first time,Â staying with different host families a few hours outside of London. I remember the gardens. Even a small yard was filled with rows of diverse colour, separated by narrow, meandering walking paths. It was such a contrast to the concrete and brick and asphalt dominating the front of the homes. I had never been in gardens that transported me beyond time and place before.Â The gardens offered magic and peace and escape–a refuge calming myÂ fear of being away from home without my parents for the first time. This was when I learned that gardens were special.
I’m thrilled to join the cast as a Dreamer in this winter’s production of The Secret Garden with Northumberland Players.
We can learn from each person we meet. Teachers are everywhere when we are willing to be students. For years I’ve been a stealthy student watching and listening and reflecting, my mind a people-powered repository.Â Every day I reflect on my learnings: ideas and insights from experiences, conversations, and encounters.