writer traveler photographer

And so it goes …

Today, at 8 a.m. Nova Scotia locked down. Off and on for the past year we’ve had some minor restrictions on travel, the number of people we could gather with, and the number of stores/services that were available to us. But things started to go sideways a couple of weeks ago. A trip to see our offspring and twin grankids in NB went the way of the DODO bird. A few days ago my gig as Writer In Residence that was supposed to start this weekend at Joggins Fossil Cliffs was put on hold for at least a month. Then, with the province-wide lockdown news this morning, instead of hosting a birthday lunch today for my best friend and two other women, that plan went AWOL.

My most recent photo shoot was of bursting maple buds. This one is out of focus. That’s how I feel for the first time during the pandemic. Out of focus. It’s all a bit surealistic.

I’m not mad. I’m not sad. I’m not anxious. I’m simply out of focus.


  1. April 29, 2021    

    Out of focus is a perfect description for how most people are feeling. Like you, most of my plans (even though NB is not in lockdown – yet) have been set aside for over a year. First I had to recover from a near fatal sepsis episode back in Feb, 2020, and then, while I was recovering, Covid arrived and the world went berserk.

    My only son and his family live in Vancouver and it is now two years since I’ve seen any of them – and only a few brief phone calls periodically don’t really do the trick – but, c’est la vie, right?

    I’m off to St. Andrews tomorrow (if nothing else of an evil nature happens) for a week’s writing retreat with Gerard Collins et al. It’s been well over a year since I’ve been further than Saint John and my level of excitement knows no bounds! Note that I am up and writing this at 3:30 in the morning – too excited to sleep so I’m off to start packing!

    • April 29, 2021    

      Oh Ceci! Having a week with Gerard Collins will be magical! So happy to hear this. Savour every moment (I know you will!)

  2. April 29, 2021    

    I have read that most of the people that reach a ripe old age do so because they are adaptable. I think that’s true. I’ve had a lot of practice at adapting and I think you, Sandra, have also learned that skill. I stop, take stock and work with what I have. Almost every day I find myself saying, “there are people with worse problems.”
    On Mar 9th of 2020 my brother, Murray, had major surgery in Kentville. The hospital went into lockdown a few days after. He just got in under the wire. Last Friday Murray moved. On Tuesday I finished helping him get settled into his new place. Again, just under the wire.
    I’m thankful for that and for the springtime, and for the food that I have in my cupboards, and for electricity and connection through the internet and also for all the jobs that need to be done around my property that will give my days focus. When I find myself getting out of focus I pick up a book and have a little time out. There is something relaxing about the soft edges of out of focus photos. We don’t always need clarity.

    • April 29, 2021    

      Ahhh. I love your wise words. “We don’t alwasy need clarity.” I also realize that what I’m feeling really are the soft edges of being out of focus. It’s not a bad thing. It’s just something I don’t recall feeling before. Thanks for popping into view Jennie.

  3. April 29, 2021    

    I always enjoy your reflections. Thank you for . the efforts. “Out of focus”very apt.
    Antidote? I am inspired to walk twice daily with my ski poles. So energizing. I keep up with gratitude diary. Drink a protein smoothie. Sorting papers and tossing 4 hrs daily. Soul revealing g reading plus a mystery podcast or Acorn TV. Skype visits with Fern and Mira often. Yummy new recipes.11 boxes mostly cookbooks delivered last week for museum yard sale .
    Keeping in video chat touch with Bangalore, San Diego and Wales this week. These things pretty much bring me to a very tired 9 pm most nights. Not inspired to write or master ukelele for some reason.
    Maybe a seed in any of the above to fertilize further in your own life or plant anew. Sending a grateful hug always for your generous spirit. JOGGgins and family not going anywhere soon either..all steadily await your visit!

    • April 29, 2021    

      You are keeping busy indeedy my friend! No wonder you head to bed tired at night. Bet you sleep well! I realized this morning while at river side for my morning reflection that it’s much like having a shelf full of things topple … but nothing’s broken … just in disarray and a bitt messy a… but all can be re-arranged. May not look the same, but nothing is actually lost. And thanks for sending that photo of Chelsea. Sweet as ever.

  4. Marilyn (Thompson) Moore Marilyn (Thompson) Moore
    April 29, 2021    

    I hear you! Our world is turned upside down these days!

  5. Joyce Glasner Joyce Glasner
    April 29, 2021    

    Thanks for sharing, Sandra. Some days lately (one year into it!) my anxiety over this thing is through the roof. I miss seeing friends, attending weekly life drawing sessions & workshops, going to restaurants, going anywhere without a mask on & just living normal life! But I’m so grateful to be here in Nova Scotia where our numbers are low & people are kind and supportive of each other. Big Hugs!

  6. Bertha Brannen Bertha Brannen
    April 29, 2021    

    Always uplifting to hear from you Sandra as well as insightful input from all others. I like the analogy to your out of focus photo. Privileged to listen to the grief journey of others leaves me amazed at the resilience of people suffering worse things than a temporary disconnect from loved ones. I recall 1960s nursing training telling of a pandemic due to resurface in our time and so that has arrived with little surprise for me. What is surprising is the paranoid scepticism of some associating this with a conspiracy. And some of these sceptics are otherwise intelligent beings. Friends, humour, Dr Strang and his theory of love outcomes, walks at Ellenwood park, listening to my 93 year old aunt who lives alone and writing about growing up in rural Sluice Point in the 1950s keep me joyful. My spouse’s daily intros to more music keeps me dancing. This too shall pass.

  7. Charlotte Charlotte
    April 29, 2021    

    I know how you feel. An article in the New York Times was talking about languishing for this sensation that is not depression but something felt by many after months of confinement. For me, in Montreal, the confinement is about to reach 14 months except for a few weeks last summer. No gatherings, no restaurants or terrasses, no art classes, an early curfew, etc. Meanwhile, we can walk and enjoy the greens getting more intense and the light expanding as colours, scents and sounds multiply.

  8. April 29, 2021    

    I loved this analogy, Sandra…so apt! For me, nature always prevails somehow, and aren’t we fortunate to live in this pretty place as all comes to life? This morning I mixed things up a bit and took my coffee outside. I settled against a withered apple tree on the edge of the woods and was lucky enough to see the deer sleeping, then rising to greet the day . Their peaceful ways always manage to bring a quiet joy to my days and the sense of timeless continuity Brings both reassurance and comfort. I was wishing I had your gift for photography!

    • May 1, 2021    

      Thanks for popping into view dear heart! Not sure I havea “gift” for photography. However, I have learned a few things about composition. Would be happy to share!

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