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Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic

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Focus Magazine Nov/Dec 2016

Sept/Oct 2016.2

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Everything posted by Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic

  1. Image: Some of the trees in Doumac Park A visit to Doumac Park in Saanich comforts—yet reminds of the über commodification of nature and BC’s farcical forest management strategy. Go to story
  2. A visit to Doumac Park in Saanich comforts—yet reminds of the über commodification of nature and BC’s farcical forest management strategy. WHENEVER I'VE FELT ANXIOUS AND DISCOURAGED by all the exceptional challenges of this past year, I’ve found myself walking to the trees. It feels odd to say that they speak to me, but when I start down the long set of stairs into the Cordova Bay ravine known as Doumac Park, the sounds of civilization fall quiet behind me and I can feel Nature beckoning. A small rainforest thrives in this basin, in the filtered sunlight and almost prehistori
  3. Photo: Monarch Butterfly A look to the recent past shows how humans have hurt the Earth and its creatures. We need to do better. Go to story
  4. A look to the recent past shows how humans have hurt the Earth and its creatures. We need to do better. THIS PAST CHRISTMAS I gave my guy a device that converts slides to digital images, the perfect project for these COVID at-home hours, days, weeks and months. Secretly I plotted that we—mostly he—might finally comb through boxes of old slides and negatives, teasing the prized keepsakes away from the celluloid chaff. As a result, we’ve been rediscovering hundreds of images and innumerable memories from the early days together, four decades ago. The most startling thing we not
  5. Posted January 15, 2021 Give this new year a fighting chance at being a happy one by nurturing social connection. Go to story
  6. Give this new year a fighting chance at being a happy one by nurturing social connection. AND SO HERE WE ARE, having laboured our way over the threshold into a fresh new year and decade, our backs solidly turned on 2020 as if that year in itself incited the pestilence. But only one week in, 2021 already feels like an aging clunker dragging along on under-inflated tires. The short, cheerless days of early January don’t help at the best of times, nor does the inevitable post-holiday letdown, especially when the holidays themselves have been a letdown. Add on the omnipresen
  7. The ultimate festival of mingling and consuming is being revamped this year into a celebration we’ll likely never forget. IN THE DAYS LEADING UP TO CHRISTMAS, I enjoy getting cozy on the couch with stories and reminiscences of Christmases gone by. I know it’s a bit of sentimental self-indulgence, but my “research” clearly reveals that the celebrations people remember with the greatest affection are almost never about extravagance, and almost always about the trials and triumph of getting home for the holidays and being together with loved ones. “Home” is perhaps the most endu
  8. Posted November 25, 2010 A close-to-heart climate hero instills hope, courage, and solidarity. Go to story
  9. A close-to-heart climate hero instills hope, courage, and solidarity. EIGHT MONTHS INTO A PANDEMIC that as of yet shows no end, I’ve found a new hero and guiding light—my youngest brother Carl. I know he’ll fidget with discomfort when I tell him this, maybe suggest I ease up on hyperbole, possibly even wonder if I’ve gone off my rocker. But I’ll insist I know a hero when I see one—a selfless, genuinely good person who, even against formidable odds, chooses to devote life and livelihood to the betterment of a greater common cause. Heroes are resourceful and resilient, typicall
  10. Posted October 19, 2020 Image: A forest fire threatens a small BC Interior community. This time, vote as if your life depends on it. Go to story
  11. This time, vote as if your life depends on it. Another forest fire threatens another community in BC IN MY HOME IN SAANICH, recently socked in under a persistent dome of noxious smog, I had everything on my mind. It was not a comfortable feeling, stacked as it was on top of pandemic perturbation and a clatter of intertwined environmental, social and economic crises, all seemingly now coming to a head. They spun like bumper cars in my brain, colliding wildly in all directions, bashing, smashing and revving up anguish. One crashed into the memory of a line from
  12. Posted September 24, 2020. Image: A peony seed pod. We have no future without seeds and seed diversity. They are our food and medicine, a sacred and essential resource. Go to story
  13. We have no future without seeds and seed diversity. They are our food and medicine, a sacred and essential resource. WE ARE INTO THE FINEST SEASON OF ALL—the harvest time—and despite all the unprecedented tumult this year, the Earth is again offering up abundant bounty. I am both awed and grateful as I make my way around garden beds crammed with carrots, beets, Swiss chard, kale, tomatoes and a medley of summer and winter squashes. I say “crammed” because in amongst our planned crops are the volunteers sown by nature. While I can’t say enough good about the dependable, open-po
  14. Posted August 18, 2020 Photo: The author's Stargazer Lilies We’ve made a fine mess of this blue dot…but nature has incredible healing powers. Go to story
  15. We’ve made a fine mess of this blue dot…but nature has incredible healing powers. MY GARDEN’S ONGOING VARIETY SHOW currently has the effusive Stargazer lilies owning the stage, their clusters of bold and magnificent flowers vying with each other for audience attention. They look like the hybridized confections they are, the planned offspring of two lesser, Oriental-type lilies, using science that was unlocked by Gregor Mendel more than 150 years ago. That’s impressive tinkering for sure, but it would all amount to nothing if it weren’t for nature. We can plunk a pixel of seed
  16. Posted July 4, 2020 Reflections as the pendulum swings between hope and hopelessness. Go to story
  17. July 4, 2020 Reflections as the pendulum swings between hope and hopelessness. THE CONFIDENT RESILIENCE that I felt just a month ago in the face of this near-unprecedented pandemic has started giving away to the occasional wobble. It began subtly enough, with small ephemeral anxieties that suddenly took to hovering overhead, and a vague irritability, directed mostly at myself, for playing too close to the pendulum swinging between hope and hopelessness and occasionally getting knocked in the head. At first it was easy enough to stay positive. Adrenalin drove our preparati
  18. Posted June 9, 2020 Photo: The new normal: constant warnings to keep your distance Much about our old ways seem reckless now—the indoor visit, sharing of food, and shoulder to shoulder camaraderie. Go to story
  19. Much about our old ways seem reckless now—the indoor visit, sharing of food, and shoulder to shoulder camaraderie. SO MUCH HAS CHANGED during these unprecedented times. For one thing, we’ve all been learning the strange, new social distancing dance, the classic one-step-forward-and two steps-back manoeuvre that has you yearning for the embrace of your loved ones while propelling yourself away from anyone else who comes too close. These days we always enter our house through the laundry room and head straight for the sink—newly coined as the disinfecting station—to scrub our ha
  20. March 2020 A plant-based diet came simply and gradually—and with many rewards. IT WASN’T ANYTHING SPECIFIC that led me to becoming a vegetarian many years ago; in fact, I never consciously “became” a vegetarian. There was no pivotal deciding moment, no fervent, “from-this-day-forward” declaration. Those were the days when food choices were still pretty straightforward, when they had not yet been conscripted into moral, political and health-related tug-of-wars. In my case, meat just slowly faded off the plate. Growing up on a dairy farm probably had an influence. Our farm
  21. January 2020 Used clothing is no longer solely the domain of the poor, and for good reason. ONE DAY MANY YEARS AGO, I stood as a meek and awkward adolescent in front of an older girl’s burgeoning closet. Her mother was pressing me to pick out some clothes for myself. Her mother had also been my grade five teacher a few years earlier, and was one of the more outspoken voices in the community. I cringed as if I was back in her class. She must think we’re really poor, I thought, as I tentatively slid the hangered shirts and dresses along the rod. Anxiety tightened my throat.
  22. November 2019 But both the new federal government and citizens must dig deeper to face it. THE ELECTION IS OVER, and by now the members of our 43rd parliament will have settled into their hallowed Ottawa seats. Notwithstanding the new faces and bustling rearrangement of desks in the house, our most urgent reality remains the same: we have a climate crisis on our hands. We left it idling unattended for decades, and now it’s speeding full bore to the crossroads of no return. Such a statement is no longer hyperbole. We can see for ourselves the strain on nature. We can see i
  23. September 2019 Tired of being used by the corporate world? Revolt by exercising the common-sense muscle. WE HAVE A UNIQUE LITTLE EXPERIMENT going on right here in our own corner of Canada. You will recall the City of Victoria’s ban last year on single-use polyethylene shopping bags at all retail establishments. Other than stirring up a few anticipated moans and groans, it came into effect with very little protest. That’s not surprising, considering how many people had already made the switch to reusable bags or at least acclimatized to the notion that reduci
  24. July 2019 There are lessons we need to learn about the meaning of “consultation.” IF THERE'S ANY WORD that’s undergone a moulting of sorts in these modern times, it’s the now politically overused and clichéd term consultation. Not so long ago this was a respected word, a solid and honest word that intimated the benefits of putting two or more heads together to discuss an idea or plan with the goal of making it a better one. Then Politics started watering it down. In the last few years I’ve grown increasingly more curious and cynical about government consulting, a now bal
  25. May 2019 It is in our gardens that wisdom and humility are nurtured. PATRICK LANE, one of our most loved and celebrated writers, died suddenly in early March, just as his garden was wakening anew. I did not know him personally but found myself thinking of him and contemplating his words as I began gearing up for spring chores in my own garden. If I was to be banished to an island somewhere with only an hour’s notice, I’d be packing some seeds, a clutch of gardening tools and my well-worn copy of Patrick Lane’s 2004 memoir, There is a Season. In this one book I’d have a li
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