A St. Patrick’s Day Poem…Inspired by Dr. Suess

Power of One by Nancy

March 17, 2017 – St. Patrick’s Day                                                         Nancy Pilling

Inspired by the master…Dr. Suess!!!

I am Sam…Sam I am!

I do not like green beer and lamb,

No, no…I do not like green beer and lamb,

Even if my name is Sam!

I like my beer with a golden hue,

A full body with a malted flavor,

That delights the palate but adds  a wee kick too!

Green beer began,

With that damed Leprechan!

‘Fiddle dee dee!  Fi Fie Fo Fum!

He shouted gleefully as he twiddled his thumbs.

He wore a tattered green top hat,

Boots and britches that did not fit well,

Ah! But his top coat of green velvet did look mighty swell!

The fiend had a face ugly as sin,

With a loud cackle he held up his glass,

And with a devilish grin,

He challenged the folk with a passionate cry,

‘Drink yee a toast…

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Good-Bye Stephen…and Thank You!

Stephen Hawking passed away this week.

When I heard the news there was a certain element of sadness…which was more for his family than anything else.

This was a man who lived a remarkable life…to its fullest!!!

And what a life!  He was a remarkable human and man who had a remarkable career.  He was funny, charming and immensely inspiring.  Stephen leaves a legacy where he challenged all of us to think, to really think.  Deeply!

Despite his physical ailments Stephen enjoyed life through 76 years on this planet.

Some of the things I loved about this man was his humility and humour.  He did not swell to the ego of academia.

His writings reached out to all of us and invited regular folk the opportunity to really understand on a level never before offered to ideas never before contemplated nor comprehended or shared before.

That was his brilliance in a nutshell.

Stephen was challenged constantly by his peers and always answered them with quiet honesty and fact.

I loved his curious mind and his desire to explore one of our most baffling and intriguing frontiers…the space time continuum.

At times in my life I have felt an connection on some strange level to Stephen because of my own interest in time and its very concept.

I am certainly no physicist…and so far from the very notion it is just crazy!

You see I had a fear of numbers in my youth.  I am a visual learning.  Text books back in the day did little to impress formulas on my youthful self.  Memorizing things was the way to go for a time, though what practicality of what I was trying to embed into my neurons made little to no sense and consequently slipped into the depths without consequence.

I did come to realize that this world we inhabit is ruled by numbers to a certain degree and in many ways I felt I’d been left behind as I just didn’t get it.  Not at all.

As I got older these interests that I had in time, in space  I began to embrace in my late 30’s.

I began picking up books and those books, such as ‘A Brief History of Time’  I read with a voracious appetite.  Not only were doors opening but ideas were springing forth and thoughts with regard to exploring the ages.

I watched shows, documentaries and I  hungered for knowledge.  Wanting, desiring, needing.

Like billions of people before me and I am certain the billions that will follow, I wanted to know where we came from and what our purpose was.

I was a single mother with a beautiful child.  I can recall, on one of those nights when sleep just would not come, I slipped from the house in my red velour house coat and sat on the curb in front of my rental home with smoke in hand gazing up at the stars above.

And I looked up into the night sky and pondered for a moment if another being was gazing out from their home planet into this great expanse we call space wondering if someone was looking out at them just as I was.

Pink fuzzy slippers peeked out beneath  the house coat as my cigarette burned down and then I ground it out after one last drag.

I wondered if they ever felt the way I did, and in that moment which is about 28 years ago, I felt an energy move through me.  Powerful, quiet and remote.

With the underlining message ‘I was not alone!’

And I felt mesmerized, connected and defined all in one swift moment.
I’ve had these sensations a few times, though they’ve been sparing, in my quest to connect.

Perhaps it is just the human condition.

Yet these moments are, in my mind, defining ones.  They are moments that give me pause and shape and direct or re-direct my life.

And Stephen Hawking is one of those whose energies, just by the words he has written touched me a way I had never known.

Having read his work I realized the things I thought about, the things I was ‘secretly’ exploring were not foolish or stupid notions and they certainly were not secretive.

In fact, Stephen Hawing’s work confirmed that my odd curiosities had merit.  Maybe, just maybe I had the makings of a brain after all.

And this came from a girl whose beginnings were demeaning, from a girl who had not had the privilege to finish high school; this from a girl who had been homeless at 16 years of age….and from a girl who was trying so desperately to  be a woman her young daughter could look up to and respect.

The way I saw myself back then was dismal at best as I lacked self-confidence in the worst way.

Yet I read and those books, articles and everything in between they stamped their collective meanings and interpretations on me.

Some I  held fast to these readings, dissecting and  observing everything, while others I questioned and reviewed before I spit them out.

Even those that I did not agree with helped me to learn and grow.

I look at someone like Stephen Hawking who had this fabulous mind, so well tuned, and it was this muscle that rendered him genius.  Those neurons that fired collectively from abstract thought to cohesive and formative ideas that were then developed into factual principles that challenged all of us.

Stephen has offered this world a deeper, more complex understanding of our own  humanity in many ways.

And here I am on this Friday evening after a long week at work, in a local pub and some four beer in, considering this planet, this thing we call space and the concept of time itself.

What does it mean?  What is it?  And where does it go?

Considering this thing we call life, I ask and challenge myself, here and now, what can I do to give back to this world, this planet to make it better?

Is it even possible?

Still the chance that there is some simplicity to all this  that we must try.  We are increasing in numbers on this planet,

Perhaps if we all try to:

  • Respect each other
  • Respect this planet we inhabit
  • Conserve our usage of her resources
  • And never ever forget to love!

We can make it a difference.

A Thought or Two or Three or…..Part One

I got to thinking about oppression.


Of what it does to an individual, what it does to groups and the lasting impact it can have on a society.  Globally oppressed states have a tendency at times to become radicalized.

These are, of course, my thoughts and observances that I’m jotting down here.  I try to look at this world with thoughtful contemplation.  Sometimes this is not always the case though.

Sometimes it is just with a sense of sadness and at other times with hope and wonderment.  I prefer the latter.

There has been a shift lately with with the #metoo and #timesup movements.  They’ve had a powerful effect and so they should.  In fact, it is long overdue.

And it is not just those of us who’ve been assaulted or preyed upon sexually.  It is about being categorized as ‘less than’ or viewed as an ‘accessory’.

I too have been sexually assaulted and been made to feel as if my worth in this world was of little to no importance.  And I know the percentage of women who have experienced these issues as well is staggering.

I was watching a news feature on CBC last week.  Iranian women were standing in public , their hijab on sticks being waved in the air as if to surrender.

It was anything but!

You see they were protesting against the laws in Iran that make it compulsory for a woman to wear the hijab while in public.

The first woman to do this was promptly arrested.  So began the protests and the campaign of #whereisshe?

February 11th, 2018 marked the 39th year since Iran made it a law that a woman cannot go out in public without wearing the hijab.   I have included the link to an article on this subject at the bottom of this page.  To date about 29 women have been arrested and it is likely exceeded that number at this writing.

Oppression of women has been a global issue for thousands of years, if not from the beginning of our time.  And I wonder why this is?

There are men now feeling a little intimidated by this movement.  To those men who feel they are being ‘silenced’ I say this.

What you feel is but a shadow of what many women have lived with for thousands of years.

We have lived our lives in fear, lived our lives without a voice and have had to abide by laws forbidding us rights over our own bodies.  And this is just the tip of the sexual divide.  And that women in areas of this world still cannot show their face in public and are circumcised (mutilation of female genitalia) in this day and age is so very tragic.

Men will never know the full impact of how they’ve treated their counterparts as there really are no words.

What we need to do is move forward.  It starts from the cradle.  We need to teach and build that education on respect, love and equality.

Let’s give it a try, okay?



http://theconversation.com/how-iran-uses-a-compulsory-hijab -law-to-control-its-citizens-and-why-they-are-protesting-91439





The First Time

It is a cool and wet Friday evening here in New Westminster.  I’m at a local eatery waiting on dinner.  Typically at the end of the work week I dine out for the evening meal.

On this evening the World Junior Hockey game is on.  Canada and Sweden are battling it out for gold.  And Canada wins it!  The boys are young.  The elation and joy on their faces is palpable as this is likely their first really big win.

Sadly one of the Swedish players was reduced to tears and threw his silver medal into the crowd.  Likely the first time this player has felt defeat in such a stinging manner.

But then there is just something about firsts’, isn’t there?

Some of them become defining moments in our lives, both the good and the bad.

Our first steps, first words, first day of school dutifully recorded by doting parents.

I can’t say that I recorded every little thing my daughter did for the first time, however, my memory of certain events that were firsts’ are tied to the emotions felt at the time they occurred.

My daughter was around 9 months old when she took her first steps.  Pushing herself up onto wobbly legs she pitched her entire body forward into an odd little run.  Her upper body gained velocity quickly leaving the legs trying desperately to keep up.  The balance ratio not yet configured resulting in the inevitable fall.

And for me it was a combination of elation and terror felt simultaneously.   I rushed toward her trying to prevent the fall to the floor or at least its impact.

That fall hurt.

Confused, the lips trembled and the tears exploded as the wail sounded.  I scooped her up and soothed the child and then began teaching her how to find that balance.  Holding the arms just so, centering the body then taking a step.

My daughter discovered too that if balance was lost it was better to drop down onto your bottom.  Easier to recover and not nearly as painful.

I cannot recall her first word at this writing.  Did I record everything?  No, not really.  for me it was the emotions attached to each new milestone that she reached.

When I returned to work full-time after moving back to Vancouver I found it difficult to leave her in daycare.  That first day, week, month I cried as I left the daycare.  I remember her first day of elementary school and her last day there.  I remember her first day of high school as well as her last.

And there were many firsts along the way.




My first heartbreak came when I was about 6-7 years of age.  I was in love with Mr. Ed, the talking horse.  I watched the show enamored by the Palomino that talked saucily to to Wilbur.

I informed my father that I was going to marry Mr. Ed when I grew up.

Unceremoniously  and with rather callous disregard he groaned and rolled his eyes.

“Don’t be stupid.  You can’t marry a horse, besides the damn thing will be dead long before you are of the age to marry.”

And my young heart was crushed in that moment.

The series began the year I was born 1958 and ended in 1966.  Mr. Ed died in 1968.
Yet the love I felt for the character of that  horse are still fondly remembered 50 plus years later.

My first crush was on Bobby Orr.

I, like so many other children in Canada, caught hockey fever.  Hockey Night In Canada was watched on a grainy black and white T.V. every Saturday always.

Later when Vancouver was awarded an NHL team my sister Norma and I would sit listening to Jim Robson call the game on the radio while playing penny poker.

My first live game was on my 13th birthday.  I was in 7th grade and my dad took me to see the Canucks take on the Bruins.

I felt torn that evening between my loyalty to my team and my love for Bobby.  That would be the closest I would ever come to Bobby and amazingly Vancouver Canucks won that evening 5-4 back in February 1971.

I’ve had so many firsts that have had a powerful impact on my life.   Some good and some of it bad.  I try to hang onto the lessons gleaned from these experiences, the good and the bad.

There was a saying back in the 1970’s.

‘Today is the First Day of the Rest of Your Life.’

Indeed.  I will try to live it to my fullest potential.





Happy New Year! Welcome 2018!


A full moon beams down on this clear and cold winter’s night.  Fog is beginning to roll in and the moon will soon be a silvery shadow if we see it all.

It is New Years Eve and I am staying at home this year.  This will be a quiet night.  A time to reflect on the year that was.

I’ve got cheese and wine as well as beer.  I’ve got a blanket wrapped about me.  I’ve taken in a movie and am watching the televised celebrations in downtown Vancouver.  I like that they have it on T.V. now.

As the countdown began I raised my glass up and shouted Happy New Year!  I made phone calls and texted as many people as possible then watched the fireworks display before going to bed.

Welcome 2018!

2017 had begun with a sense of desperation and an overwhelming exhaustion carried over from years prior.  I began the year by withdrawing from so many activities and organizations I’d been involved with.

Still I recognized that depression had once again settled in.  I was isolating myself.  All the insecurities and yearnings once again tossing me to the curb with all my perceived inadequacies washing over me.

I found it difficult to post any of my writings last year as well.  A notebook is always with me ready to record anything that I need to purge onto the page, however, those ramblings were often sad and coming from a dark place inside me.

I thought of Gloria Vanderbilt talking about how the rainbow comes and goes.  I’d read that particular book in 2016 and there are a few passages that resonated with me and still do.

Mid-year I began to emerge from this bout of depression.  I am focused on the new job I began nine months ago.

I’ve started a new book.  I am hoping to have the first draft completed by Spring 2018.

I need to become more disciplined and dedicated to my writing. I’ve got so many stories  I want to tell. Time to get to it.

I am focused on my health as well.  The vehicle accident back in 2015 mucked me up big time.  Now I need to just try and find a level of fitness that I can maintain.  I need to continue to work on my emotional well-being as well.

Time to get to it.

I hope that 2018 is a stellar year for everyone!

Happy New Year!




Another Friday Night and the Sky Beckons

White whispery clouds caressed the early evening sky.  It reminded me of a lover’s breath once climax has been achieved and both settle into a warm embrace.  Gentle words and soft kisses, then the relaxed sigh as sleep envelopes you. 

I am at times mesmerized by these things that occur daily, often without notice. 

Earlier as I waited for the bus I watched the hustle and bustle of people enjoying this gorgeous summer’s eve in downtown New Westminster.

It has come a long way since I moved here. 

I watched an older woman walking with two companions up Eighth Street.  She walked with deliberate caution.  No doubt she had taken a lot of time to prepare for this outing.  Her face was powered, the hair coiffured, lipstick applied just so. 

In her youth I could well imagine her getting all dolled up and heading out to have fun on a Friday evening.  She wore heels that looked precariously dangerous to me and each step taken gave evidence that she had not done this in a while. 

I smiled remembering the last time I wore heels.  Indeed, by the evening’s end I wanted to cut my feet off as they were throbbing in protest at this treatment.

I wondered at her age.  Me, I am certainly no spring chicken as I creep ever closer to sixty.

Do I feel old?

Not in the sense that one may think.  A vehicle accident a few years ago just as I was rebounding from Cancer treatment.  The accident has affected my physical body and the trickle down effect of suddenly not being as mobile and experiencing pain daily impacted my emotional being as well.

Yet I still wake in wonder of each day that I am afforded.  Some days are better than others to be sure.  I try to find a little beauty, a little love, a little joy in each day.

At lunch, I’ll go to the kitchen in my office to prepare my mid-day meal.  A TV broadcasts the news of the day…the ongoing soap opera of all that is wrong in this world.

Experts and analysists dissect what all of it means.  Serious faces dressed in serious suites, ties and designer dresses discuss the implications and fall out of whatever else may have fallen from a certain someone’s mouth. 

Hamburg is on fire…closer to home forests are on fire.

Omar Kadr is awarded $10.5 million. 

People are furious!  Hey…he was 15 years old and tossed into Guantanamo Bay!  He was not offered the rights that should have been afforded him being that he was an underage Canadian caught up in a very bad situation. 

I for one hope he can find some peace and wish him well.  He’ll have that hell haunting him for a very long time. 

Since beginning my new job and once again taking transit, I‘ve been able to catch up on my reading.

“A House In The Sky” and “The Reason You Walk” I would strongly recommend.  I have read about five books thus far.  I lean toward memoirs. I read Tony Robbin’s latest “Unshakeable” as well and this will inspire you to invest wisely.

Still it’s when I get off the bus and witness a canvas of clouds whispering to the sky or wake to the sun kissing my toes through my bedroom window that I feel so connected with the air I breathe. 

I love when I smile at a stranger and their face lights up. 

A good friend of mine lives by the moniker ‘Kindness Matters’.  She is so right. 

And sometimes you have to just stop and appreciate the quiet beauty that is happening around you. 


Enjoy this day.  Spy on the sky, eavesdrop on the whispering wind.  You’ll never know the wisdom that may be afforded to you.

Have a very happy Sunday.


Being Canadian

Today  July 1, 2017 marks Canada’s 150th year since confederation.  Canada is a young country by all standards.  Some of the cities in this country of ours are much older.  For example, Montreal turned 375 years old this year.   Canada had settlements and industry established across this land long before we joined together in confederation.

Sir John A. MacDonald became the first Prime Minister of Canada on July 1, 1867.

Growing up I can recall this day being referred to as Dominion Day.

We are a diverse country and there has been a lot of blood, sweat and tears that have fallen to arrive at where we are today.  We still have a lot of work to do in terms of peace and reconciliation with our indigenous brothers and sisters as well.

What we must remember, however, is that we are merely custodians in this land of ours.  The following article discusses the problems we are currently facing.

In Richmond, BC, which has some of the richest farm land in the province, urbanization has been eating up these lands.  Homes being built on these properties are alarming in size.  There was home on No. 5 Road that was 41,000 square feet in size and slated to have 21 bedrooms!

The owner, who has 13 other luxury properties in the area wanted it zoned as a hotel.  He was denied.

Below are a couple of articles that may be of interest.

by Tanya Brouwers

Canada is a nation of vast spaces and varied terrain. Nationwide, however, this seemingly endless land base has limited agricultural potential. In fact, 94% of Canada’s lands are unsuitable for farming. Of that small percentage of land that will support agricultural endeavours only 0.5% is designated as class 1, where there are no significant limitations to farming activity. Unfortunately, due to urbanization, poor farming practices and other non-agricultural activities, this small percentage of viable farmland is shrinking at an alarming rate. Statistics Canada, for example, reported that between 1971 and 2001, over 14,000 square kilometres of our best agricultural land had been permanently lost to urban uses.

The link below is for an article that was written in the Globe and Mail newspaper regarding the issue with Richmond’s current crisis.  You can see many of the homes that are now sitting on prime agricultural land that is not being farmed at all.  Blueberry bushes have been cleared and trashed.  And I can tell you the strawberries and blueberries produced in this area are so good!


When I speak about being custodian of this land of ours we must be diligent in our use of natural resources and how we develop this land.

There are more lakes in Canada than in the rest of the world combined!  And in British Columbia, the province that I live in, contains over 20,000 lakes and an abundance of streams and rivers.

Make no mistake.. Every area of Canada is populated, however, the majority of the population resides in the southern portion of the country along the coast lines and U.S. border.

One of the reasons I pointed out the issue in Richmond regarding the agricultural land is that approximately 6% of Canada is arable land.  What this means is that of the vast size of this country, this is the percentage that can be farmed.

We must come together as a community and as a country and take care of this land.  In the spirit of the French President Marcon,

“Let’s make this planet great again!”

And it starts at home.