Daniela Ginta, The Mindful Writer

Freelance Writer and Photographer, Author of the Mindfulness Blog

Category: Health Page 2 of 9

Weekly Column: For the Love of Trees

Did you know that March 21st is the International Day of Forests? It was established back in 2012 by the United Nations General Assembly. Not many people know that because it is not highly publicized; social media is filled with reminders of international days of, cupcakes included, to the point of rendering us nauseated. Forests of all things should not be left aside. We exist because they exist. Coincidentally, March 21st is the first day of spring, so let’s hope the reminder sticks.

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She’s All That And More

It’s 7.02 and my alarm did not go off. How do I know this? Because of the coldish wet nose that is gently pushing down on the mattress near my own nose. Perhaps a molecule or two are exchanged in the process, that’s how fine her touch is. She knows that my weekdays start at 7am. On weekends we sleep in; she knows that too.

Make that magical feature number 1.

She seeks my gaze when I start dressing or even just reaching for a pair of socks. She looks into my soul and my soul warms up. ‘Can I come along?’ She almost always does. If the adventure is but grocery shopping, it’s togetherness she’s after. So am I. We listen to Nina Simone and Stan Rogers in the car and our eyes meet in the rear-view mirror every now and then. To never feel lonely; infinitive.

Magical feature number 2.

The other day we got ambushed by a coyote on the trails. Twice. The first time she barked her big dog bark, charged the coyote only so far, and then came to stand by me as we both scanned the hills. The second time around she chased it further but came back unharmed. She looked at me: we’re going home now. I listen every time. I learned that in the woods where it’s just the two of us (and the plethora of wild creatures stalking us!) and her nose and instincts always prevail. I am safe because of her; I never question her instinct.

That’s magical feature number 3. (Number 3 applies to people too. She sniffs out the strange ones and blocks their access to me. Go figure. I shrug and say hello but from a distance. As per my dog’s suggestion.)

She sleeps by my side of the bed and when I can’t fall asleep, I let my hand rest on her. Research says… everything calms down and I feel my thoughts tuck each other into imaginary beds… All’s peaceful again. Closeness. Gratefulness.

That’s magical feature number 4.  

I signal our hiking trajectory wordlessly; I wave my hand and she gets it. I teach her the words for the things we meet on our hikes: snake, stick, cone, person, bird, puppy, plane (nope, we don’t fly but planes do and she looks up wondering what they are. Planes. So there.) I ask her if she is hungry on the way home and she licks her snout looking up at me. She knows people’s names. Her dog friends’ too. While I solemnly promise to never refer to her as ‘fur baby’, she knows me as Mama. Because the boys call me that. To be fair, we are raising each other, her and I. But yes, on paper I am the dog owner and the dog’s name is Poppy.

Today is her birthday. She turns 3! A pallid midday sun catches us playing soccer with a cone on a frozen beach. I kick the cone we found buried in sand, she runs to catch it and creates a mini sandstorm. Repeat. Repeat. Until. What? Already time to go? OK, once more.

We stop by the side of the frozen river. It’s quiet but for the hum of the city in the distance. I crouch down and she nestles into me. I kiss the side of her head and she closes her eyes gently. She sighs. I sigh. I’d change nothing; not her relentless bicycle chasing or occasional stubbornness. The car will be full of sand again. So what. Repeat. Forever.

Gratefulness

Happy birthday, Poppy girl. May our snuggles and adventures never end.

Weekly Column: There Should Be Grace And Decency In the Public Political Discourse

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on January 14, 2019. 

Saturday morning started with a good amount of sunshine and blue skies. I hiked and took in the fresh air and the beautiful landscape, and spent some time remembering Cindy Ross Friedman, whom I got to meet for coffee and chats many times after moving to Kamloops and whose celebration of life service I was to attend later in the day. Gone too soon, she had a spark like no other.

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Weekly Column: Climate Change Challenges Will Never Be Solved With Cat Doors

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on January 7, 2019. 

If you want to chuckle, check out the amusing story of how a $2,000 cat door installed in a West Vancouver home can help fight climate change (embedded in the $3 million home it belongs too.) To be fair, the article has some good information on passive houses, or net-zero homes, but you might find yourself jaded by the time you get to the part where the 11-foot windows are described (shipped from Europe, they were.) Carbon footprint applies to the whole product and the processes involved in building it, no?

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Weekly Column: Any Day Is A Good Day To Start on Resolutions

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on December 31, 2018. 

As 2018 is ending, there is a funny thing happening: the resolution machinery is put to work. Open any big box store flyer and you’ll be reminded of resolutions, particularly the fitness ones. The distance between today’s you (somewhat heavier and poorer you after Christmas eating and shopping,) and the better you of tomorrow (possibly fitter but just as poor or worse if you give in to promises and buy promises shaped like fitness machines,) is ultimately yours to decide on.

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Weekly Column: Will Locking And Guarding Bathrooms Solve The Vaping Problem

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday December 10, 2018. 

The short answer is no. Yes, vaping is a big problem, health-wise in the first place. You may have heard that a North Vancouver high school is tackling the vaping-in-the-bathroom issue by locking all but two student bathrooms (which would have to serve 529 students.) Other high schools are having teachers and other staff members guard the bathrooms to deter students from vaping.

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Weekly Column: Let’s Never Get Tired Of Making People’s Lives Better

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on November 26, 2018. 

It’s 4am on Saturday. I wake up thirsty and amble my way into the kitchen, fill a glass with water and drink it to the last drop. I return to bed and snuggle back under the covers. Warm and comfortable, I fall back asleep.

The first thought that surfaces on that bright and sunny morning goes straight to the boy at the heart of one of the saddest community tragedies that took place in Kamloops, as someone recently called it on the fundraiser page. Jessie Simpson, whom I mentioned in a recent column, questioning whether the justice system betrayed his cause (I think it did.)

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