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Archive for December, 2009

Risk-taking


After reading the family scroll I thought about the risk my Irish grandparents took in moving across the “pond” to Vancouver.  Cousins had recently emigrated there, so they knew a little of what to expect.   However, they had to leave their home, friends and neighbours, and  start over.  Sam and Anna Montgomery were willing to move forward into uncertainty.  They and their children  made the move, onto the ship, across the country by train, to a land where fertile fields grew green from rain.  Colour and climate would  have been familiar to this family!

My grandparents trusted themselves and their ability to cope with new challenges.   Part of the scroll reads: “that the favour of Heaven may ever rest on you and yours.” … “wish you God speed”   Friends invoked God and Heaven to help the family  in the new world.  My grandparents never returned to the “old country”, not even for a visit, and knew when they left that they would not see their friends again.  They took the risk anyway.  They left because they believed that their new world would be better than their present one.  Living and working at God’s speed means you have to trust.  Life is not under your own control.  How you respond to life is. 

As 2010 approaches I wonder what the new year will bring.  I believe it will happen at God’s speed, which may be much faster than I want.  My Tarot card reading last night predicted a big change ahead.  So I have to trust.  I just have to step forward and live.  Like my father’s parents, I need confidence in the face of uncertainty.  I need to trust.  Trust that Spirit is directing my life, and trust that it will assist me in meeting the challenges thrown at me.  Trust in my own ability to handle change.

Sounds like 2009 all over!

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Family Scroll


Presented in 1913

This is a copy of an illuminated address presented to my grandfather Samuel Montgomery and his wife Anna Matilda (nee Gilmore) when they left Ireland in 1913.  It reads:

From his friends in the Co. Down, upon the occasion of his departure to Vancouver, May 1913:

Dear Sir;  Your neighbours and many friends in the County Down having learned of your decision to emigrate to Vancouver take the opportunity of expressing their sincere regret at your departure, and to wish you God speed.

During the many years you have lived in our neighbourhood you have gained the goodwill and the esteem of everyone with whom you have come in contact by your genial disposition and kindly acts. 

For a long time you have been a useful and valued member of the Killyleagh, Killinchy, Kilmood and Tullynakill Farming Society, and on many occasions you have rendered great service to the Shows held in connection with it.  We shall sadly miss you at these annual meetings and think of you every time the Show day comes round; for as an expert Agriculturalist and horse breeder you exerted an influence on the members of our Society which will be permanent in its good results.

In bidding you farewell we ask your acceptance of this Illuminated Address, and to Mrs. Montgomery this purse of sovereigns as a souvenir of your many friends in Old Ireland, and we accompany it with our earnest prayers that you may make as many faithful friends in the new world as you are leaving behind in the old and that the favour of Heaven may ever rest on you and yours.

Signed on behalf of the subscribers:  William C. Carr (Chairman), Charles Breeze, Thomas Robinson, Samuel M. Cormick, John McConnell, Hugh Brown, Thomas Gilmore, Thomas Anderson, J.L. Morrow, John Beattie, Th. Lowry, Joseph McGrady, John Lony, R.H. sproule (Hon. Treasurer).

This is such a beautiful piece of work.  Here is a closer look at it:

Family Scroll close-up

top half of scroll

 The artist who created the watercolour drawings was J.W. Carey.  Carey was the son of the Rev. J.W. Carey, a Moravian Minister at Kilwarlin, Do. Down. He trained as an illustrator with Marcus Ward & Co., publishers.  When this firm failed in 1899, he set up a business with his brother John and Ernest Hanford at 142 Royal Avenue in Belfast, where they were joined later by Richard Thomson.  Their firm specialised in high quality iluminated addresses, presentation albums, and book plates.  If you wish to know a little more about him, you can Google him, as my brother John did to get this information. 

Receiving and framing this scroll has helped me to reclaim a legacy.  My Celtic roots have pushed my growth more strongly in the last few years.   This may be why my Christmas party has become more of a Solstice celebration.  I am a Christian, and celebrate Christmas, but I know I don’t fit the traditional view of ‘Christian’.  So I seldom think of myself as that.   Something I especially like about this scroll is the reference to my grandfather’s personality: “genial disposition and kindly acts”.  That is a good goal to adopt.  Within the family we heard a few tales of his spirited nature, not all complimentary, but he and Anna raised sons and daughters who raised children in turn to reflect genial dispositions and kindly acts.   That is the legacy that I see in all my cousins — all 24 of us who lived in Richmond BC during our childhood.   We keep in touch by Christmas cards and through annual or semi-annual gatherings, where now we are the oldest generation.  Some of us have great-grandchildren, including myself.  The legacy continues.   This is a photo of some cousins, taken at my sister’s place in October 2008.  We are a healthy group of seniors! 

Thanksgiving week at Judy & Clive's

Cousins gather October 08

I will likely post more thoughts on this family scroll in the next few weeks.  Meanwhile, I will be in Vernon with Bob, Dina and Ben to celebrate Christmas.  All the best to you and yours at this wonderful time of the year!

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MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

December, 2009

                I chose a wreath from Clip Art that reflects Ireland, new light, and re-birth.  It has shamrocks.  I can’t figure out how to insert it, so I’m telling you about it.  I used it for my Solstice/Christmas party invitations, as every year I invite women friends to share my home the last weekend before Christmas.  I hesitated having a ‘party’ this year, because after 23 years, Lois and I are no longer in a ‘partner’ relationship.  It felt strange to have people in without  Lois helping me host our friends.  However, Lois and I are still friends, although we don’t see each other as often as we used to.  I have invited old and new friends, most of whom know each other.

                The invitation asks my friends about re-birth, because Solstice represents the  return of the light.  Check out these websites for wonderful pictures and descriptions: www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm or  www.heritageireland.ie/en/Solstice2007 .  I’ve since thought about my own re-birthing.  Re-birthing is not just one event, but a continuum of growth.  As we age, the physical body deteriorates but the spiritual one ripens.  

My Christmas cactus reminds of re-birthing, as it blooms faithfully twice a year.  It doesn’t last long, but it reminds me of life’s potential,  even when the leaves seem droopy.

 

                I have valued my visits with Lynne’s and Bob’s families this past year.  I celebrated Jesse’s high school graduation with all the family in Prince George in May.    I visited Riley & Nicole in Kamloops after that.  They have re-birthed themselves also, as Riley’s art is less dark now.  His work is truly beautiful.   He’s returned to Thompson University for another year in Fine Arts.   I had great visits with Bob and Dina and Ben in Vernon, in May and in October.  I love playing Gramma with 3-year-old Ben, which truly keeps me young – definitely a re-birth!  I’ve discovered new ways to be with my kids: fewer questions, more patience, more listening and more learning.  It’s never too late.

                Another re-birth is the display of the family scroll, given to my father’s parents when they left Ireland in 1913.  The scroll hung in our dining room until John & Linda received it two decades ago.  Now all the cousins have a copy, and I have framed mine.  I re-painted my kitchen before hanging the scroll, another  re-birth for my house!  Reading the scroll has reminded me of my roots and family values .  I’ll write about these on my website/blog: www.sharonmontgomery.wordpress.com  

I have also re-birthed my book Your Invisible Bodies.  After a year of marketing the first edition I decided there is a market for the book.  Advice from a new friend/editor convinced me to publish a second run with the Study Guide included.  I added new information, two photographs of my auras, expanded the background and references to Jesus and Mohammed, and included the Study Guide as Part II: For the Adult.   The new title is Your Invisible Bodies: a reference for children and adults about human energy fields.    It is a much improved book, so this time I printed more copies.  Self-publishing has forced me to learn new information, and marketing has raised the learning curve even higher! 

Bob advised me to  market via trade shows and expos that would attract my target audience:  parents who are into complementary health and alternative spirituality.  So that’s what I have done.  Because I didn’t  want to sell my book alone  I’ve reached out to other writers of spiritual books.  This has been a marvellous collaboration.  The first event,  in March, was an author’s night at Knox United Church.  We featured Carolyn Pogue, Coral Sterling, Lorna Rowsell and myself.   A month later Coral and I presented at the Women in Business Expo, with 4 other authors.   By this time we had a name for the  collective:  Growing Past the Edge.  The BodySoulSpirit Expo in Calgary in April attracted other authors, resulting in us becoming a collective of 15 self-published writers.  We chose the domain name www.calgaryauthors.com  and Jeane Watier, one of the members, has designed the website.  If you are interested in fascinating reads, check us out!  Growing Past the Edge has been at three fall expos, in Vancouver, Calgary, and Vernon.  I’ve made many new friends and contacts.  Selling books is a lot of fun, especially since I discovered my inner marketer! 

Another plus to the author collective is that we exchange and read each other’s books, so we can knowledgeably sell any of them.  I know so much more now I probably could not write my children’s book, because I wouldn’t be able to simplify the knowledge .  One reason the book works is because it is simple, addressed to children 8-12, giving an overview of energy healing.  Several adults have bought it because it presents contemporary knowledge of quantum physics and energetic bodies in child-sized bites.  I’ve given a copy to Miceal Ledwith (of What the Bleep Do We Know? ) and it has been endorsed by numerous people at the spiritual expos.  If you want to know more about my book or these ideas, go to www.yourinvisiblebodies.com

I maintain my membership at Knox United Church, where I’ve been part of the Healing Touch team for over 10 years.   Our group of eight has become good friends, maintaining our own health as well as offering treatments to members of the congregation.  My book has sold very well within the Healing Touch community in Calgary.  I am in conversation with the directors at Healing Touch Program in the U.S. who may use it for their children’s curriculum.  This little idea has grown far bigger than I ever imagined.  What a re-birth that has created in me!  Writing the book has clarified for me that my priority is healing and health.  I continue to be active with the Calgary Raging Grannies, but realize that healing work is more important than political or social activism.  However, I need both. 

The highlight of the Raging Granny year was being Parade Marshalls for the Calgary Pride Parade in September.  Here we are, in all our finest, at Olympic Plaza in downtown Calgary.  I’m holding the rainbow whirligig I bought when Lois and I were at Padre Island in Texas four years ago.

I am amazed at how far gays and lesbians have come in the 36 years since I moved to Victoria.  As I danced along the street behind the lead car, which was playing disco music, I thought about Lynne and Bob.  They both told me before the parade they were proud of me.  I was so happy, and felt their thoughts were with me and all the others.  Lois was at the rally too, still causing a stir with her mullet haircut.   I got a great picture of her with a young scantily-clothed man who bounced up to her, insisting that she was gorgeous.  Too fun!

Speaking of politics, I have just read the acceptance speech by President Barack Obama upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.  His statements remind me that rebirth is possible everywhere.  Go to http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-acceptance-nobel-peace-prize .

 Jesus talked about rebirth 2000 years ago.  The United Church does today. Solstice celebrations  have honoured  rebirth for at least 5000 years.  Christmas is about new light, new awareness of priorities, renewed energy and amazing Love. 

Let the blessings come!

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