Dear Canada

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An Open Letter of Gratitude to Canada

Dear Canada:

It all begun when I was asked by my cousin to travel with her to Ottawa. I had one week to prepare. Thank God that in 1992, you allowed the Islands of the British CommonWealth to come to your shores with only an approved passport. We didn’t have to travel to Barbados to obtain a visa for visiting relatives and friends who had already settled in your land. Irony is, now that I am Canadian; many have no clue where St.Lucia is on the map. Today you’ve granted me the privilege to apply dual history and culture.

I was fortunate to have landed on one of your most prestigious airports, Pearson International in Toronto.  After our passports were stamped with all kinds of important information, we made our way to the vast space to wait endlessly to be taken to Ottawa. As we waited for what seemed like forever; for the strangers whom we’ve never met before to pick us up from your capital, I couldn’t help but observe that you had all kinds of strange people in your land: people whom I have never recognized or seen before in my homeland of St.Lucia. My eyes opened so wide that I had no time to take a nap or to sit still after our 5 hours plane ride. The energy of so many nations moving in all directions simply mesmerized me.

At 26 years old you were my first virgin flight, I arrived on your  land  in the cold month of April. It seem ordained that I had to come to you for the other two and half decades of my life. The Creator had a greater plan for my life and for you O Canada; for you have taught me things that no other nation on earth could have taught me. You transformed me into a strong, mature, and confident Afro-Caribbean-Canadian woman. You chose to adopt me, engrafting me into your culture, your people, and your landscape.

It was not easy at the beginning but you made it possible for me to see my way through the many languages,accents, dialects, which my ears had to get adjusted too. You’ve allowed me to walk through your educational institutions without discrimination, and if it existed while I was there, I didn’t dwell there, for I knew that my new motherland was greater than the ideology of an oaf; her approach is that of dignity and the value placed on human lives.

Because of you I have made friends or met others along my way from various countries on earth. You showed me how to be kind by the way you show kindness to all who come to you  for refuge.  You are a harbour where the hurting and the dying come for refuge; and you give hope to  they that have dreams and want to soar.

In this great year 2017, as you celebrate 150 years of standing for peace, love and quality (equality); I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for creating policies with me in mind. For giving me the privilege to have access to social services, health care, and continuous education. I want to say thank you for providing for my two daughters whose navel cords are buried in your soil. Thank you for opening new doors for me. Thank you for being one of the best countries in the world.

Stay safe Canada, you are loved!

Sincerely yours,

New Citizen

jjf ©  2017

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Warm Glow of Lights- A Walk in Winter

What was I thinking coming to live in this four seasons country which I have grown to love over the course of time. Canada has been my home for almost 24 years. I left a tropical island with only two seasons-sunny and rainy- for greater opportunities in icy freezing winter. (Not even Canadians born here have gotten use to the cold). We all have to tolerate its chilling tentacles with shape spikes!

I do not like shoveling snow. I do not like waiting for public transit when it is snowing or it has snowed. I hate walking in unplowed streets where the snow is almost my height -about 5 feet; and to make it worst, the city have a way of blocking you in with snow,  especially if you live on a side street leading into a main street. And do not talk about the wind; sometimes I do not know which is worst-the snow drifting in the blustering wind; or, that sneaky cold breeze that stings when you least expect it.

I do not like the wind trying to find a way to sneak under my many layers of clothing, making me feel under-dressed.  My friend told me years ago when I first came to Canada, that you cannot get rid of the cold no matter how much you’re padded up or bundled up; also, there is no fashion when it comes to winter. She said that it is okay to have two hats on your head, four extra layers of clothing on, and it’s better to stay warm than to be fashionable. Well, I will argue the latter with her, there is some fashion in winter.

On a positive note, I refuse the cold to keep me indoors. Too much ‘indoors’ will send me insane.  O yes, I have itchy feet, I must walk; just have to go outside. The cold cannot keep me in, even on days when all I see is the vapor coming out of the mouths or nostrils of people; or, I get that nod from the neighbors with eyes peering through ninja style hats or scarves- I feel you too. Me, I’m covered up too, the only parts of me that I might leave exposed for a quick  snapping of photos, are my right hand fingers. Seriously. I just realized that I do not text or make any calls while trying to stay warm on a blustery biting cold day or night.

Warm Glow of Lights is a  poem or thought on lines according to Catherine Cookson, that I wrote to a beat in my head; I sang and chanted it while walking to get my daughter from the babysitter. The evening was just perfect, cold and crisp– warm lights were striking across the sky; some having the appearance of angels. I raised my voice to my contentment  as my deepest thoughts and prayers were with all the poor souls who were making their way out of the bitter cold.

Today my sentiment remains the same. The cold weather forces me to think of the homeless and the underprivileged in my community. While I might not like winter, I will be dressing very warm to extend my help for a worthy cause.

#outofthecold #homelessness #metoo

 

Warm Glow of Lights

By jjf edited 2017

Glow night snow

glow lights over the hearts

warming in shelters

beaming over all who are

fortunate to be

tucked away from the tentacles

of winter: snow sprawls all over,

nipping at everything; as clouds linger in an

overcast of freezing

windchills that you wish not even your enemies

 be in this shivering bitter cold.

My prayer is that no person be found outside,

with hardly any vital signs; or no fire to cover the coldest

curdled hard to fight against winter’s elements

where the outside lights will not keep you warm

tears are useless in the cold, it freezes up

so on this biting, frosty night

it will be warmer with others; to share a fireplace, a kitchen, a bed

I beseech you find cover that will shield you

against the coldest needles which can pierce

even the warmest of spirits…

(c) 2015 jjf

Just Rest

 

Just Rest

When your soul pains in despair

Lay your head gently to rest upon the Savior’s breast

When tiredness grip your loins

Rest assured that His love will carry you on

God will never give up on you

No matter how far you run

He will carry you in His bosom

Lift you when you fall

He’ll embalm your knees, wipe your tears

And let His glory shine on your countenance

Remain assured as you rest your life

In the Master’s hands;  He will guide you on.

Jjf @ 2016

The Call

“I heard the voice of the Lord saying, whom shall I send?” –Isaiah 

 

In my silence

Deep within,

I heard the voice of whom my soul loves.

I answered the call with much difficulties

Without understanding the path laid out for me,

I simply trust.

I trust the Master’s plan

To take me to the promise of my deliberation.

I do not force myself to remember my past,

For it follows me like a shadow

Coming and going as it pleases.
Staying longer when the sun shines

In every crevice of my being

Measuring against my present

Stalking everywhere I set foot.

Then a stillness steps in

To rid the shadow too monstrous in nature;

Too stubborn to let loose of its hovering

Sometimes, I hide

Not a hiding of a coward; but one who waits,

Till the calamities be overpast

Sometimes, I face it with a force–

A force, a strength, which is completely supernatural-

Connecting me with the Source.

(c) 2015 jjf

Random Notes of Love 1

valentine_heart 1

I love the month of February because I was born on the sixteenth. February- the love month – giving and loving and sharing and forgiving; well, that’s what they say. The sweet repetition of the conjunction ‘and’ makes everything add up in the love month. Over the years, I wrote many short pieces about love: love and friendship; love and heartaches; love and hate; love and life; love and death; misunderstood love; and love, love, love…but I am learning the greatest love of all is in my savior Jesus Christ!

The old cliché-short, sweet and spicy!

Enjoy. ♥jjf

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Invitation (Edited)

Our time of hate is in the past

Now it’s our time to love

Your colorful eyes follow me around,

Are you afraid to stare?

Yet, you like what you see

Are my lips too full to swallow yours?

Are my eyes too deep that you feel helpless?

Come, you can taste my honeycomb

Don’t be afraid of the light

There is so much that I can teach you

Come, feel me

Not in secret places, come

Let’s go to the mountains

It’s fresher there

Our time of hate is in the past

Now it’s our time to love,

Again.

(c) 2016 jjf

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To Argue Love 

And if we argue, fuss, or fight

What good it’s gonna do tonight?

You take a piece of my heart

and with the same breathe say, ‘I love you’

What good it’s gonna do today?

(c) 2016 jjf

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 Restless Dove

I’ll contend for you my love

as sure as the stars are above

though you may try to fly away

my love for you will multiply,

though distance may keep us apart,

though others may try to steal your heart;

 my grip on you shall never depart.

(c)2016 jjf

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Indecision

Can I look at life in a two way fold

Can I walk through two open doors

Can I share love fifty-fifty

What then shall I do?

Deep into those eyes I am afraid

Deep into the past I keep remembering

Deep into the future I have to go

What then shall I do?

(c) 2016 jjf

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A Song of Longing

I’ll be there before the first rain falls

I’ll be there before you close your eyes

If all the rain should stop falling

If all the fruit trees stop bearing

If all the birds stop singing

My love for you will never change

My laughter will be heard throughout the land

To bring joy to your heart

I’ll be there before the sun sets

I’ll be there before you close your eyes.

(c) 2016 jjf

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Question to Self

Do you love you enough?

Asking the same questions over and over again:

Who do you think you are?

Do you love your thoughts?

In a whisper: do you love you?

Do you love your neighbor as yourself?

Go ahead, it’s good to love you too

Why should you hide who you are?

 The stars burst in its firmament

Blazing a wink that extends the universe

And we who are on earth can look and behold its wonderment

The beautiful array of God’s love canopied above us

Why should such love be hidden?

Go ahead,  it’s good to love you; 

And you will have no hindrances loving your neighbor too.

(c) 2016 jjf

Image from:https://www.google.ca/?gfe_rd=cr&ei=0DslVZnRN8yC8Qe36oC4DA#q=valentine_heart+1