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finding beauty & style in life—not just in a closet

photo Marta Bevacqua

I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun!

I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Why do we no longer crave the simple pleasures in life?
For me, I can’t think of any better way to spend a Sunday afternoon…
than just lying on a hill, in a field of flowers with quiet eyes, drinking it all in.

— J.

#flowers
#simple pleasuresImage: Instagram.com
Poem: hellopoetry.com

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Leon Wyczółkowski

“Spring in Gościeradz”, 1933

There’s nothing I love more than to open all my windows on a windy day and listen to the leaves rustle in the trees.

What about for you?

— J.

Listen closely to the wind,
it’s the sound of the leaves in the trees,
dancing and writing beautiful poetry across the skies.
– Unknown

#open windows
#quoteImage: curiator.com

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Gary Bunt

“Daffodils”

“The Righteous”

“Daffodils” (detail)

“The Poppy Field”

Today I said goodbye to a very dear friend and neighbour, Mr. Rodriguez.

At his funeral, I learned that his story is a precious one.

In 1957 he immigrated to Canada from Portugal with his wife, Lucinda, two small children and $500 in his pocket.

Although he didn’t speak English, it wasn’t long before he started his own company, Royal Cleaning Services. His hard work paid off, he sold it and opened Antonio’s Fish Market in downtown Toronto. After that, his love of gardening led him to a position as head gardener at Edwards Gardens. His final job was Supervisor of Maintenance with the City of Toronto.

I also learned that his motto in life was to go slowly and do it correctly. I guess that’s what helped him with his uncanny ability to fix things without any instructions or guides.

But something that I’ve seen and known about him for years is his deep love for his family, especially his wife. It has always stood out to me and that, I will never forget.

Two years ago she passed away after a long battle with dementia. With the help of his children, I watched him patiently care for her at home right up until the end. After her death, he created a heart-shaped flower bed in her memory just outside his front door. Watching him tend to it was one of the most tender and touching things I’ve ever seen.

I will also never forget his steady presence in my daily life. For the last five years or so he has always been there. Quietly observing the going on of our little street from his porch or from inside his garage. Like a faithful friend, I could always depend on him to have time for me, to greet me with a smile, wave or warm hello. He was never too busy. I miss him. I miss our daily interactions very much.

So you can understand why I’ve chosen the work of self-taught British artist, Gary Bunt as an expression of my feelings. I find that many of his paintings beautifully depict the comfort and friendship that comes from the presence of a quiet, solitary figure – something that I have come to know, cherish and am now missing terribly with the death of my dear friend and neighbour, Mr. Rodriguez.

— J.

#loss
#friendship

Images: portlandgallery.comportlandgallery.com; portlandgallery.com

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photo Steve Gindler / “Cvatik”

Having had the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle coincide with the Victoria Day long weekend here in Canada created quite a “royal” buzz – more than usual.

Not often does a “regular” girl live out her Cinderella story, marry a prince and become a princess. Or rise in personal status and influence because she’s married into a family of “real-life” kings and queens.

But is becoming a royal the only way to do so? For one to feel like a princess and influence others for good?

For me, it’s learning to love yourself and others well, that’s what’s required – not marrying a prince!

Reach out and help others.
If you have the power to make someone happy, do it.
Be a vessel, be the change, be the difference, or be the inspiration.
Shine your light as an example.
The world needs more of that.
― Germany Kent

Happy Victoria Day!
Fête de la Reine!

— J.

#quote
#life reflection
Image: Instagram

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