Sleepless Night

The amazing thing about anxiousness is it can be in the presence of good or bad events. It will be the first time in approximately – forever that I have left my practice for three weeks. I am excited about my journey but remain apprehensive about the time I will be gone. it’s not that I don’t believe that all will be fine when I get back – it has more to do with let go. Learning to appreciate that when things feel awkward and sometimes uneasy it’s probably a time of personal growth and relection.

Victory and Defeat

Well just an update – the Burlington Thunder lost in a shootout in the finals to a team from Spain. We did score a goal that was disallowed – don’t want to be complaining, but if I am able to attach the link I will post it. The shootout was thrilling they scored two goals and we missed all of ours (Fraser hit the post -blog post to come). The boys and their parents were able to experience victory 48 hours later when we all spilled into the streets and into the town square to celebrate Spain’s world cup victory. None of us will ever forget the experience. Win or lose our lives have been changed forever.

No I Didn’t See The Hunchback

The line up was long, but it gave my radar the time to turn on. I stared at the Notre Dame Cathedral and listen to our guides’ story of The Hunchback of Notre Dame. When I stood at the doorway I realized there was a Sunday service and the great hall was packed. For those to worship you can sit in the middle – for those of you who are touring please be quite and walk the perimeter.
As I stood there I took in the sight of the magnificent building and touched the stone that has stood for hundreds of years.
The warmth filled my body. I gradually moved myself through the crowd and listen to low baritone voice sing hallelujah. The voice passed through me as if it were removing any noise that may clutter my thoughts. I slid to the right to read a plaque in French and see if all those years living in Montreal and attending a french immersion class would pay off. As I moved closer to see – I am still not sure if it was my aging eye site or the limited dungeon like light available. It was just then that I felt a moment of absolute silence. No hallelujah, no echoing whispers from the tourists and no clicking camera shutter buttons.
It was just silent enough to hear and feel the light puff of air on the side of my right ear, cheek and side of my neck. It was distinct and definitive. It was eerily calming and emotionally overwhelming. I continued to stare at the plaque – still not to sure what it was about – I wiped away the tears as I thought about my Mom who passed away a few years earlier.
After her passing I learned more about her quite, but strong religious beliefs. For reasons I am uncertain she never pushed them on us. She always wanted what was best for my sister and me. She often put everyone else’s needs ahead of hers – including her grandchildren. I wonder what she would think knowing her 12 and 14-year-old grand children are travelling through parts of Europe and are presently standing in Notre Dame Cathedral.
Our tour guide mentioned that people have real awakening moments when they pass through the cathedral he was right.
I spoke with him that evening and replayed my encounter. We spoke till 2:30 am (no alcohol required) and he explained to me the origin of the word INSPIRE. He indicated to me that it was from the Greek origin to ‘inspir’ , or blow air in to ones ear.
I guess my mother was inspiring me that day.
Learn to quite your mind and turn on your radar and its fascinating the frequencies you will hear.

What Pooh Bear Taught Me On Vacation

Well it was a long day of travel – but we made it. A long flight through the night while everyone around you is sleeping is a wonderful time for self thought. It’s wonderful what our minds can think of when we have time to think. More often then not we tend to fill our minds with itinerary and what’s next. Actually two nights before leaving I was doing the same thing. We started to skip ahead to the big travel day. When I did this I actually took away from the trip experience. You see in the book ‘The Tao of Pooh’ Winnie spends his time in wonderful anticipation and fascination of the mere chance of finding honey. Sure, Winnie is disappointed when he eventually sniffs out an empty pot of honey, but his rather seemingly sad and troubled response is soon forgotten. He immediately places himself in the present moment and recognizes his opportunity of finding honey again. Winnie’s life is a constant in the moment opportunity of finding honey and the pleasure it brings. The great thing is the moment after he finds honey, his attention immediately returns to the chance of finding more and the day to day pleasure it brings. So we are in control of our in the moment thoughts – we just sometimes let them get away from us.


You Learn Lots About Yourself When You Pack

Well the last weekend before leaving and we began to pack.  If we could only watch ourselves from a ‘third party kind of way’ we just might figure out why we think the way we do.  I realized that I tend to over think the most insignificant items in my life – yet for much more difficult decisions, I tend to be very instinctual.  You see I have this mini playoff in my head on my favorite, shirts, jeans, shorts and unmentionables.  It’s kind of external force, that somehow enters my thoughts.  As if  to say ‘think really hard about the most trivial items and you will ensure the vacation your life. 

That same day I spoke with my brother in-law about a few details of our travel.  When we were signing off, I said we will see you in a few weeks.  He mentioned that he and his family just couldn’t wait to see us.  It hit home.  The magnitude of our trip hit the core of my being.  We are travelling to Europe for three weeks.  I am excited for my wife and children. 

After hanging up the phone, I sat in the living room silently and was truly overwhelmed.  The trip is about the experience, friends and family.  It’s about life long memories and removing excuses about visiting your family oversea.  It’s about doing it now rather than waiting for some other time that may be better.  It’s about enjoying your life and the wonderful opportunities within it.  

I am a little uncertain why I was so emotional after I hung up the phone.  But, one thing I am certain about –  is that it probably has nothing to do with my favorite socks and underwear I’m bringing.

The Trip of A Life Time

About ten month ago my son’s soccer team decided we
were going to enter the Donosti Cup, soccer tournament in
San Sabastian, Spain. In eight days from this post our
family and sixteen other boys and some form of
representative from there family are heading out for an
experience of a life time.
Over the next three weeks I am going to attempt to deliver
the ‘feeling’ of our family experience, rather then a day to
day itinerary of our daily do list. Remember I am trying to
capture the experience – I hope it touches your heart the
way I’m sure it will touch ours.


My Grade 8 Graduation Speech – By Emma Kirk

When I reflect back on my first day of school at CRB, I could never have imagined that I would be standing in front of you today.  →It feels like I have been given a blank canvas to paint a picture of the life we have shared together at CRB.

Where to begin and where should I end? 

 Like many masterpieces they are only moments in time – a snap shot – of the artists view and interpretation of their surroundings.

 Tonight →I would like to paint a picture for you in your mind.  The great thing about the painting in each of our minds is that it will be different.

 To help demonstrate this point, take a look around the gym. →We have all have created portraits of ourselves. Even though we all had the same instructions look at how different everybody’s portrait is. →

 Even the finest pieces of art are interpreted differently.

  For some the picture in your mind will include→ little babies growing up right in front of their eyes. →  For others they will see the next generation of teachers, doctors, business men and women or human right activists. Other’s they will see the graduation gift and party that lies around the corner. →→→→→→

The point is each one of us has the exceptional ability to be unique and capable.

 I decided that my picture will be an abstract painting, because when I layer it with all the great memories I have had at CRB there would be a multitude of colours all mixed together.

 There is a saying that ‘We do not remember days, we remember moments.’

 So my painting will be filled with a series of moments in time.

 Time in the dictionary→ is defined as the continuous passage of existence→ in which events pass from a state of potentiality in the future, →through the present, →to a state of finality in the past 

 If we all take a moment and think about time, it’s easy to understand that our lives are filled with lots of little moments. → For myself I kind of wonder where all of those moments have gone and I’m sure most of you do to.

 Wow, we are off to high school next year (cheer) →→→

  Moment by moment our lives are filled with experiences that define who we are and who we may grow up to be.

  When we look back, I hope we realize that all of the friendships made at CRB, → the teachers that have guided us, → our parents advice good and bad →and the time when we all told jokes coming back from Quebec, has helped each one of us become the people we are today.

 Our lives have been shaped by similar and different experiences.  Yet we all sit here today with the common ground of graduating GRADE 8.

 Our experiences have produced moments of fun and laughter, and moments of tears and worries.

 There were first moments; learning to ski or staying over night at Brock.

 There were band medals, wonderland and spoons with Mrs. Andrews.  Tarzan ropes, Muskoca, rock band with Mr. O Grady and circus school, Moguls and the streets of Quebec.

 First break, second break and pizza day.  →Sorry Mom and Dad there were good lunches and bad ones. 

 Hot days cold days and the best of all snow days. →→→ 

 There was school tragedy and school triumph.

 There was whispering in class and talking by the locker, → the gym, →the library, the portables the………you get the idea.

No matter how you look into the past it is these moments that have united us here today, which are all moments in my life that I will never forget.

 Remembering these moments are powerful because they can lift your spirit when you’re feeling down.

 The great thing about my painting is that these same moments will help shape who we are and challenge us on who we will become.

 Moments will challenge us to make hard decisions – that may sometimes not turn out the way we want. →→→ But the great thing about moments is that there will always be another.

 Moments will teach us that we always have decisions in life – that’s why I want to include moments in my picture

 Moments are opportunities to be great. Anything and everything you do is a moment.  Some you will remember and some you will forget.  Some you will choose to forget and some you won’t be able to.  That’s why I want to paint this picture.  So I won’t forget.

 Today we will stand here before our parents graduating from Grade 8.  They have watched us grow up from babies all the way to teenagers; they too wonder where their moments have gone. 

 The only exception to this rule is a certain person in my family who keeps having another 29th birthday. →→→

 Our parents paint a different picture then ours today but I am certain it includes a swoosh of pride, a dabble of envy and a whole lot of love.

 One thing is for sure this moment is a great feeling. → It’s filled with friendship, excitement, wonder, and emotions. →We can feel the love from our family and friends and the pride our teachers have for us.

 Time is interesting that way. It never stops, and nor will it ever.

 The moments that surround us will keep coming, some good some bad but either way they will never stop. It’s exciting to think of what moments lay ahead of us.

 I would like to ask all the graduates to take a moment tomorrow to paint one colour with one stroke of a paint brush on this canvas to help me create an abstract painting of today’s graduation.

 Remember John Lennon once said

          ‘A dream you dream alone is only a dream, a dream you dream together is reality”

 But for this moment, thanks for making this a great graduating class I will never forget.

 When I look at the painting in my mind, I realized that I painted a beautiful picture filled with love, friendships, and laughter and I couldn’t have painted it any other way.

She Is A Teenager

My daughter is growing up.  We celebrated a birthday recently – it wasn’t mine but somehow I felt older.  It didn’t seem long ago the birth of my first child arriving.  My wife and I thought we would have our first child before she turned thirty and our beautiful daughter arrived the day before my wife turned thirty.  Thirteen years later and …..where has the time gone?  My daughter is a remarkable human being.  Thoughtful, caring and empathetic to people and issues around her.  Her wonderful sense of humour lends to her personality.  She never allows my wife or I to leave the house without saying “I love you”.  There are times I am overwhelmed with emotion with just the thought of her.  You can imagine the feelings on ‘her’ birthday.  The frightening thing I started to speed ahead of time.  Next year high school, then maybe off to school somewhere.  I allowed my mind to keep going and she was out of the house living her life.  Successful, confident and creating a loving atmosphere for her own family one day.  She is a true reflection of her mothers brilliance.  It was another one of those moments that reminded me why we are taught to live in the moment. Even tough it wasn’t my birthday – I realize the gifts that I had that day.