Sunday, April 21, 2013

Friendships...and a week of contrasting emotions in Nova Scotia.

This past week has been one of contrasting emotions. The events in Boston have created so much heartbreak, so much fear and distress. Amidst the collective jubilation and joy of the marathon finish line,  an act of planned and unthinkable violence changed and ended lives, and curtailed the dreams of so many. We wonder, once again, how it is that human beings can conceive and carry out such terrible actions against others. We offer our heartfelt thoughts and prayers. Most important, however, is that we stand firm in believing that one day, we will all help to create a future that is fair and just for all, a world free of violence and hatred forever.

We must never give up. It'll take something called...tenacity.

A fine ship...and a very good word.
And it will take...strength.

Nothing that is worthwhile is impossible.
For these same past seven days, we have been in Nova Scotia visiting friends. Six thousand road kilometres from home (4500 air kms, as WestJet flies), we have been reminded that friendships can transcend time and distance. We have only lived in the same community with Ray and Carol for four years over the past twenty-eight years, and yet the friendship is as warm and as vibrant as it ever was.

We met in 1985, at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake, Alberta, where both Ray and I were both posted. In those three short years, our families enjoyed many shared activities. We sat down to countless meals together, made music on our guitars, laughed, and shared our plans and our dreams. We stood cheering in the stands as Eddy the "Eagle" flew off the ski jump at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games. We hiked the West Coast Trail through endless rain, watched our children chase each other along the vast sands of Vancouver Island's Long Beach, dug for clams on a remote beach, and watched the stars sparkle above us in the deep and dark night sky.

We shared an overlapping year together while serving on NATO postings in Germany in both Lahr and Baden. During that time, we skied in Austria, camped in Switzerland, tasted countless samples of (very fine) wine in France. With our families, we explored castles and fortresses, and experienced the magic of an ancient world, still so very much in evidence. On an extraordinarily historic weekend in June of 1990, we watched the Berlin Wall come down - literally.

Here, in Nova Scotia this past week, we have shared many of those memories and the events that have been part of our individual "stories" since that time, reflections on the present, and dreams of the future.

Friendships can, indeed, transcend time and distance, and for that, we are grateful.

To the Colonel and Carol, thank you for the reminder...and for all your warm and gracious hospitality this week, and in the days yet to come, on Nova Scotia's lovely South Shore.

And to all those who faithfully stop by to share these pages and reflections, thank you so much.

Duncan and Joan.


  1. Wow an amazing life you and Joan have had! Friendship are always special and when you reconnect it never seems like you have been apart.
    Enjoy ..looks like awesome weather!

  2. Thank you for that, L. Just as on the "left" coast it's the familiar mix of sunshine and rain. This sortie to the Maritimes underlines the immensity of our country and serves as a reminder that there are good folks and warm hospitality wherever one travels on this fragile island planet. :) D.

  3. Duncan and Joan,
    Beautiful blog and beautiful pictures. Have a great trip! Safe travels.

  4. Thank you Jen, Nova Scotia is indeed a beautiful province and as with everywhere else, there is so much to discover - and so much ocean! :) D and J