Monday, August 5, 2013

A Cure for Restlessness

After living and studying in India, the Canadian Arctic, Quebec and the USA, and living and teaching in Singapore, I find myself living in the cozy, clean, safe and environmentally conscious town of Okotoks, Alberta, Canada.  I have two beautiful and healthy children and a lovely home.  My husband and I have terrific teaching positions and yet, we found ourselves feeling restless.  When living overseas, we had unlimited access to learning, seeing and doing new things; combined with helping others in need around us.  We continue to be involved in helping others and service projects at our schools and with our children, yet miss being overseas.

Then the flood happened in Alberta at the end of June 2013.  It ravaged much of our province,
The beginningof the flood 2013
making thousands homeless, and destroying business, schools, professional offices, libraries and recreation facilities.  It was a good time to dig in and help those in our own backyard.  We assisted family and friends; we helped strangers and they helped us.  Thousands came out to volunteer and support, expecting nothing in return.  Out of this disaster, which will take some areas up to 10 years to rebuild, developed a stronger community.  Although we were missing life overseas, Canada is an incredible place to live. 

Banff, Alberta, Canada 2013
While it felt good to contribute to needs in our own province, it was also a pleasure to get out and re-energize, to see the treasures in our own area.  Alberta is a beautiful province with a wide variety of landscapes to explore.  Gratitude for where we live and a deeper understanding of why we volunteer and offer service to our community to keep it strong, were renewed with exploring our own backyard.  Trips to Banff and Waterton National Parks reminded us of the stunning scenery accessible to us; and the need for us to actively be involved in taking care of it.
Glacier Lakes of Waterton, Alberta

Prince of Wales Hotel, Waterton, AB
It's been a busy summer full of helping others, working for our children's swim team, and sharing time with family and friends.

This summer has reminded us of the importance of volunteering, looking out for our neighbor, and being stewards of the world's treasures around us.

And...the reward of an attitude of gratitude and getting involved in our community? ... Restlessness diminishes...

What's in your backyard that you are taking time to enjoy?

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