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I’m never quite sure when it will happen.  It could be set off by a flash of rich violet in a spring garden, or by the relentless activity of a flock of Cedar Waxwings suddenly, briefly, touching down.  It could be triggered by a child’s luminous smile, a toddler’s unselfconscious verve as he explores his world, or the tangible tail-spinning joy of a dog newly unleashed in an open space.  It could be an olfactory spark -- a spicy inhale of a few fine, grey-green leaves of prairie sage, rubbed between thumb and forefinger, or the earthy aroma wafting over the surface of a northern lake, of once-crisp leaves softening into the autumn ground.  It may be ignited by the sound of the first spring Robin or the sensual resonance of a well-sung note.  Or it could happen when a museum-sized bite of Saskatchewan transports me to the bur oak woodlands of my childhood or the prairie spaces I love.  Something shifts. Time stands still.  Thoughts fade and my senses sharpen.  I am more alive.  I am part of this time, this place, this Earth. A brief pause and my world opens up.  And then it passes and I am left full and grateful to this planet for providing endless opportunities for pause, for awe, for breathing in life. 



Joyce Belcher

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