I didn’t see much of the eclipse
… or so I thought.
A friend and I were on the back deck with the computer on the table
chatting, visiting, sipping tea
watching the NASA feed on the computer.

“When will it happen?” we wondered.

The computer showed us that the eclipse *was* happening
but other than no wind movement in the trees
a darkness on the left side
and a drop in temperature
not much seemed to be happening where we were.

But tonight, when I downloaded the photo I took this morning
I saw something I hadn’t seen during the eclipse
… fascinating swirls of light!

Those swirls of light made me stop and think
about things we miss
about people we miss
when we are not
… expecting the unexpected
… being open to possibilities
… dealing with the “ism’s” we don’t want to admit
… acknowledging the negativity we feel
and there is an eclipse in our corporate soul.

May we see beyond the things and people seeking to
… cloud our minds with negativity
… confuse our thoughts with misinformation and lies
… obliterate light from this world.


… your time has come to a close.

May swirls of light of
… truth
… reason
… integrity
replace our obscured vision.



© Photo & Text June Maffin


I remember a stormy night
the likes of which I’d not seen in many years.
Thunder and lightening
… more thunder and lightening
… and heavy, non-stopping rain.
And the sky?
… the sky was beautiful!
I didn’t even think of taking a photo of it
as I was too busy oohing and aahhing at the beauty.


When I grabbed my camera
all I got was this photo which only represents
about a quarter of how majestic a sky it was.


I couldn’t help thinking about
… how beauty and potential destruction can go hand in hand
… how goodness and evil can exist side by side
… how grace and suffering can be present at the same time


These days, sadly, we’re getting to know all about all of that
because of Charlottesville, Virginia where
… clergy walked quietly and peacefully, hand in hand
as armed white supremacists flooded city streets.
… ordinary citizens stood watch outside a synagogue as people of all ages
gathered inside to pray and KKK members marched with flame-torches in their hands
shouting “Jews will not replace us”
… and much more.

Storms happen
… personally.
Storms happen
… meteorologically.
Storms happen
… politically.


When we encounter storms
may the words from Rudyard Kipling’s “IF” poem

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man (sic), my son (sic)!
<Rudyard Kipling, adapted for inclusive language)



Photo & Text © June Maffin




Don’t know about you but
there’s just too much hate happening these days.

So let’s balance things out.

Let’s plant LoveSeeds!

Let’s sprinkle a bit of
… loving kindness
… loving thought
… loving prayer
… loving words
… loving action
in the world around us on social media like
… Facebook
… Instagram
… our blogs
… our emails.

And let’s sprinkle Love Seeds
… in our neighbourhoods
… in our families
… in ourselves.

If you could use some LoveSeeds
aka ‘use some love’ because you’re
… exhausted
… anxious
… in physical pain
… grieving
… fearful
… angry
… frustrated
… ticked-off
… lonely
… feeling fragile in this world that seems to be so alien these days
for whatever reason,
pick a LoveSeed
and consider yourself
gently hugged, affirmed, encouraged and loved.

In ways we can’t even being to ask or imagine
may the Love Seeds we plant
and the Love Seeds we receive
blossom and fill hearts, minds and souls with hope.


Text: © June Maffin
Image Artist: Not yet confirmed after a lengthy search but I think it is Nonnetta whose FB page is here.  Am waiting to hear back from the artist for confirmation.




Long ago, when monks transcribed manuscripts by hand,
mistakes were made because the language of the time had no punctuation.
So, letter after letter was strung together with other letters
… with no capitalization to indicate a new sentence/thought)
and this often provided dilemmas for the monks.

For instance … quickly, without spending a lot of time thinking, what does the following say:


Capital letters, punctuation and “spaces” are vital when trying to understand written text.
So, does the above say: “It is good to believe that God is now here.”
Or, does it say “It is good to believe that God is nowhere.”

Our society is filled with people who believe that God is “nowhere”
and many of them live loving, productive lives and bring blessings to this world.

Our society is also filled with people who believe that God is “now here”
They experience and understand God
… in different ways
… in different places
… with different traditions related to their beliefs
… dressed in different ways
… using different names for their deity

Yes, there are differences … many!
But so what?
Really, so what?

If lives are lived, expressing lovingkindness
… to people, animals, the earth, the sky, the waters, themselves
what harm is expressed if people choose
to acknowledge God “now here” in their own way?

I don’t understand hate crimes.
I don’t understand racism.
I don’t understand religious intolerance.
I never have.
I doubt I ever will.

It is good (for me) to believe that God is now here
especially in these present difficult days of
fear-mongering threats by world leaders.



Text & Photo © June Maffin


Whether we want it to, or not.
Whether we welcome it, or not.
Whether we celebrate it, or not.
Aging happens.

*Growing old* is different.
Growing old is more than chronology.
Growing old is about attitude and is about play.

When we stop playing,
we stop delighting in life;
we stop being hopeful;
we grow old.

While I may be chronologically aging (more quickly than I wish)
and my body may be showing its age (a bit more every day),
I refuse to grow old.

Play is my middle name
– even if it’s only a few minutes each day.

In this grieving process, some days are more difficult to include a play-filled activity
than other days.
But I make a conscious effort.
I remember one of those “more difficult days.”

There was no rational explanation.
The sadness and profound sense of loss just was there
… big time.
I could feel the waves of grief tumble and erupt.
I could feel my body experiencing the loss of my husband
in an overwhelming sense of exhaustion.
So I decided to head outdoors and take a short walk around the block.

On my little walk I encountered a little girl.
She was singing a familiar melody while she walked her dog
and I began to hum the melody.
It was my ‘play’ for the day!

It was just a few seconds.
But it was play
and I felt a hint of joy as the tears tumbled down my face
because I wanted to tell my husband about this lovely encounter.

Then as I walked back home, a smile began to form on my face
… because I did tell him.  🙂

When we play, joy begins to emerge.
Whether we are encountering a familiar melody sung by a little girl walking her dog,
(or dancing, or doodling, or engaging in board games,
or strolling along the beach, or playing bridge,
or are involved in a sport, or interacting on the internet,
or playing an instrument, or sharing a meal with a friend,
or creating anything (be that a handmade card, a tool shed, a dress, a poem,
a painting, a piece of calligraphy, a meal, a book, a piece of pottery, a magazine article,
a computer program, a piece of sculpture, a photograph, a mandala,
a garden, a scrapbook, a bookcase … whatever!),
we begin to realize that there is still life within us,
hope emerges,
and joy has space to flower.

There is such wisdom in the words of George Bernard Shaw:
“We don’t stop playing because we’re old.
We grow old because we stop playing.”

By the way, the photo was taken several years ago
when I surprised Hans with a ride on a Zodiac boat.
He loved it!!!
That’s not exactly the word I would use to describe the zodiac-experience!
But, he was having such fun,
even when the rain started
even when the wind picked up
and even when the storm quickly arrived.
So how could I not delight in his delight?
A spirituality of play has many ways to surface!  🙂



Embracing spiritual concepts and peaceful ways
the Toltec people of southern Mexico around 900 A.D.
considered all of life to be part of the Great Mystery
… science and spirit were seen to be part of the same entity.

Even though the Toltec culture left no written records about their beliefs,
it was believed that a shaman was the repository of Toltec culture
and had the ability to guide people in their lives.

One day, a near-fatal car accident changed the life of a surgeon born in rural Mexico.
He apprenticed himself to a shaman to learn about the Toltec culture
and then a move to the United States found him exploring the human mind
from both an indigenous (Toltec culture)
as well as a scientific perspective (his medical training)
resulting in a unique combination of traditional wisdom and modern insight
in a very short book.

The man’s name was Don Miguel Ruiz.
The name of the book was called The Four Agreements.
It was a New York Times bestseller for more than seven years
and offered four simple guidelines to life.

Here’s how Ruiz explained the Four Agreements:

AGREEMENT 1   Be impeccable with your word
… Speak with integrity.
Say only what you mean.
Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others.
Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love.


AGREEMENT 2    Don’t take anything personally
… Nothing others do is because of you.
What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

AGREEMENT 3    Don’t make assumptions
… Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.
Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama.
With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

AGREEMENT 4    Always do your best
… Your best is going to change from moment to moment;
it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick.
Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid
self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.

Such wisdom, Dom Miguel Ruiz.
Thank you.


Photo & Text © June Maffin



When I was a child living in Montreal, I remember we would call my mother’s parents in Florida once a month and use an egg timer – yes, literally an egg timer! – to make certain the phone call didn’t go over our family’s three minute limit.

I remember my brother Gerry and I staring at the tiny grains of sand drip, drip, drip through the teeny hole, and my mother talking more quickly to her mother and father as the grains became fewer and fewer and then Gerry and I would quickly say “Hi Grannie. Hi Grandad” (and not much more) and the phone call would be over because the cost of even a three minute phone call in those days was so expensive.
Decades later, a phone call from an island on the west coast of Canada to the Netherlands can go on and on and on for hours as laughter bursts forth with the stories that are shared … like this photo I took of my dear husband Hans in our Studio talking on the phone to his siblings in Zeist.  The invention of the phone and the under-four-dollars for several hours of conversation cost allowed Hans (me too <g>) to stay well-connected with our Dutch family without concern that we would be going over our phone budget.
Thank you Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Watson for being the earliest developers of the telephone and thank you to all who have played a part over the years in creating portable phones, lower long distance phone rates, free 911 calls, etc.  You have brought countless people a sense of security that practical help can easily be contacted in case of emergency, and brought much joy as the voices of loved ones are heard and conversations are shared.

And while I know that phones can be frustrating these days (what with the increasing prevalence of scammers), I’m very grateful they exist.


“Throwback Thursday” … I  love it!
It offers another opportunity to reflect, remember and give thanks.  🙂





photo & text © june maffin
” tomorrows”

” tomorrows”

people ache at the escalation of
~ political deception and lies
~ racial inequity
~ economic consequences
~ bullying
~ religious persecution
~ sexism
~ cultural confusion
~ injustice
~ hatred
and more

spirits grieve
shut down
hold on to beliefs
without openness
scientific research


sometimes it seems as if there is
more that separates than unites


may the focus be more on the Good that unites
than that which divides


may Love be felt and awe experienced
in the midst of pain and distress and desolation


may logic and reason and fact
educate, inform, guide

may there be hope for tomorrow
… and the tomorrows which follow


Photo & text © June Maffin

Text adapted from my poem published in “RACE AND PRAYER:COLLECTED VOICES, MANY DREAMS
Malcolm Boyd and Chester Talton, editors
Morehouse Publishing 2003   ISBN 0-8192-1909-6



This night, I light a candle
for the people of the United States.

Many are bereft at today’s news and find fear
the occupier of their thoughts.

This night, I light a candle
for the people of the United States.

May fear of “what next” be balanced with an abiding awareness
that resistance can be a powerful voice.

May honesty be spoken in the closed investigative sessions.

May loyalty to the Constitution rather than loyalty to one man
be the underlying motivator for honest responses.

This night, I light a candle
for the people of the United States.



Whether we light a candle

… in our imagination

… in our prayers

… in real time and space




Let us
light a candle.



© june maffin




There she was
… strutting her stuff across the street
looking oh-so-certain of her destination.

Then she stopped.

She didn’t move
… at all.

Camera in hand, I watched her
… watching me.

Ms. Black Cat and Groucho Marx
…”A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere.” <Groucho Marx>
were gentle reminders that life offers moments of reflection
in the most commonplace situations.

Today will bring unique opportunities for each of us
to ‘go somewhere’
and appreciate the precious gift of life in new ways.

Will we stop
… as did Ms. Black Cat
and look?
Will we make time to reflect?

Thank you, Ms. Black Cat
… for capturing my attention
… for inviting me to take your photo
… and for offering yet another opportunity to reflect on
the gift of life
the wonder of creation
and the hope that tomorrow
… I will be “going somewhere.”

Whether that “somewhere” is simply
… getting out bed and into a chair
… brushing my teeth
… getting groceries
… going to work
… having a play day
… enjoying a visit with a friend
whatever the “somewhere” is
I will go
… with curiosity
… with gratitude
… and with hope
that many tomorrows will follow tomorrow.



Photo & Text © June Maffin



A friend has just had her life disrupted
and it’s not been a ‘good’ disruption.

She wrote that she was “coming home on water”
(back to Vancouver Island via ferry)
and as my photo of boats in Cowichan Bay came to mind
the following prayer emerged for her
and for all who need to experience
a sense of precious peace that passes understanding
and a stillness of body, mind and spirit
… for whatever reason.

s t i l l n e s s

stillness of water
… peace
stillness of mind
… peace
stillness of body
… peace
stillness of soul
… peace




Photo & Text © June Maffin



When chaos pervades
breaths be deep
fears be released
peace enfold
hope sustain
wisdom surface
courage be given
and boldness
to face
to confront
to challenge
replenish souls.


Photo & Text © June Maffin

<Columbine flower – thanks to a bird
who dropped a seed in the back yard>



I almost missed them
… but then I saw them.

“Hello there”
I said ever so quietly.

As I moved closer
looked at the baby swallows
perched inside a rolled-up carpet
in a friend’s carport,
they came closer and closer to the edge
and looked back at me.

“Hello there”
they cooed or whatever swallows do.

We didn’t speak one another’s language
but we had made a connection.
Not a human connection
but a connection
… one living creature to another.

I dream of the time
when human beings can make a connection
with other human beings
and say
“Hello there”
… without fear.


photos & text © june maffin







A friend made a mistake
that proved to be costly
… financially and emotionally.

She became angry and upset with herself.
Recently I made a mistake
and the words I’d written to her
… “I want you to take a deep breath.
… I want you to stop dumping on yourself.
… I want you to realize that Every. Single. Person makes mistakes.”
echoed in my own ear.

To mark the first anniversary of my husband’s death
I planned a special time of visiting friends, B & B’s
at a retreat centre we had both enjoyed
and learning a new art technique
…. eco-printing.

What was my mistake?
… I didn’t purchase cancellation insurance.

It never dawned on me to do that for this trip.
The retreat centre, friends and B & B’s were in Canada and in the same province!
And besides, I was healthy so why would I cancel?

The day of the trip arrived.
In the wee hours of the morning,
I loaded the car and headed to the ferry terminal and
for about an hour, wandered through outdoor boutiques and craft booths.

Soon after being on the ferry
… I started feeling dizzy and nauseated and disoriented.
I knew I had to lie down.

The next thing I knew
… I was in a wheelchair and being taken to the infirmary
where the crew member asked me questions like
… “Did you eat breakfast?”    Yes.
… “Are you diabetic?”  No.
… “Are you going to continue the trip or go home?”  Go on the trip.

But as I rested and prayed, I knew the decision I had to make
… Go home.
I didn’t know if the dizziness would return while I was driving
and was concerned that if I continued on my trip
I might cause an accident, hurt someone or myself.

The decision wasn’t easy

For health reasons, it was the right decision.
… but financially as the French would say: “pas de tout”
I’d not taken out cancellation insurance!
… everything had been planned, booked and fully paid for, for months.
No refunds.

There was nothing I could do about it except
… learn from the mistake.

I didn’t beat myself up about the mistake
… though I was tempted

As I rested on the ferry trip back to Victoria
a peace descended in my mind and heart
as I heard somewhere deep within me
… “Mistakes can’t be changed, but they can teach.”

Note to self
… stay out of the sun and high temperatures

Getting hydrated and lying down
and making the decision to come home
avoided potentially serious health issues.

Now I’m home
… staying hydrated
… keeping out of the sun and heat

I will always get cancellation insurance from now on
… even if travelling and making reservations in my home Province.

This is one mistake I won’t make again.
It taught me well.  

May I always remember
… “mistakes can’t be changed but they can teach.” 



Text and Photo © June Maffin

<Flowers in vase compliments of birds who dropped seeds in the back yard over the winter>



who would have thought that playing with
tjanting tools, wax, Procion dyes and Arches Text Wove paper
for this birthday card for a lovely DIL
recently reminded me of the children’s “Goldilocks” story.

My brain – gives me chuckles at some of the ways it works.   🙂

The birthday card didn’t turn out as I anticipated
but I learned a lot through the process.
So, in case anyone wants to try making Batik on cards
here’s what I learned
… the ‘large’ tjanting tool left blobs of wax
… the wax from the ‘small tjanting tool couldn’t be seen until the dye was added.

For me, the Goldilocks
(“Just Right”)

tjanting tool is the ‘medium’ one.

It’s all about experimenting and learning
and this Fall, when I teach a group this fun technique
I know I’ll learn even more about batiking on cards.

Thanks, Goldilocks.  🙂



© June Maffin


When I transplanted the bleeding hearts last year
I didn’t think they would “take” in their new location.
Oh me of little faith!

But they survived the transplant and blossomed this year.
And each time I walk by them
I am encouraged to remember all who live in situations
where inner harmony and peace are missing
and where hearts truly are bleeding from the stress and rancour and fear.

Lately, I’ve particularly been thinking of neighbours to the South in the United States
where, on this Fourth of July people are celebrating
the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776
and many are praying for peace and harmony throughout their land.

I join them and wish, pray and hope the same.

May a gentle wave of calmness sweep over your land.
And may the Fourth (Force) be with you.

Happy (and safe) Fourth of July!



Text & Photo © June Maffin





Proud to be a Canadian?
… Yep.
Happy to be a Canadian?
… Very much.
Grateful to be a Canadian?
… Understatement

Wherever you are
however you will be marking the 150th anniversary of this country
there is much that is good
in spite of the frustrations and problems.

It is easy to criticize.
It is easy to point fingers and question.
It is easy to wish history revealed different stories.

I doubt there is one country
which can claim to be without
frustration, dismay, embarrassment, anger, disappointment, shame
or combination thereof
as people reflect on the history of their country
at some time or other.

For one day
let’s celebrate
… not dwell on the negative.
Let’s celebrate Canada and
focus on its goodness
and not complain
… for at least one day.

May all have a happy
and safe
Canada Day weekend!


Thanks to the RCMP officers (our wonderful Mounties)
who walked across the Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver so that this photo with the Canada flag below them could be taken.

Text © June Maffin



in first blossoms
a sense of the sacred emerges
… glimpse of hope







Text & Photo © June Maffin

<Photo taken of strawberry blossoms in the back yard
that have transformed into sweet, luscious strawberries>



Sweet hummingbird
how can I not be fascinated by you
… by your grace, your beauty, your agility.

You bring peace.
You bring joy.
You are a gentle reminder of the wonder of the cycle of life.

I honour you
and thank you for being such a wonder-filled subject for my camera lens.


You always seek the sweetest nectar
and gently invite us

to seek out the good in life
and the beauty in each day
… in Nature
… in kind words and gentle actions
… in laughter and wonder-filled memories

Sweet hummingbird
you also are a gentle reminder to not let
any one
any thing
at any time
ruin or destroy
… that which is good
… that which is hopeful
… that which is holy.
Like you.


Text & Photos © June Maffin



Through a cloud of sadness,
love shines.


Long before I knew him, our paths began to intersect.
Some call it “fate”; some call it “co-incidence.”
We called it “Divine Love.” 

In Montreal, he and his family lived
… about three blocks away from my family.In North Vancouver
… he lived a few miles away from me.

On the Sunshine Coast
… his family had a summer cottage in the community I worked.

We never met in any of those places.
And then we met, by happenstance at a Christmas Fair.
It wasn’t “love.”
It was simply a meeting of two people who shared common interests
and who began to grow in friendship.
And then ‘love’ entered the scene.
Not between the two of us
… just yet
but through a rescue dog
… his little King Charles Spaniel named Shandy.

As the years passed
the friendship he and I shared grew.

‘Love’ entered the spaces
that had been empty for far-too-long for us both.

When he first asked me to marry him
I said “No, not yet.”

Then he asked again
and again and again.

One day, he phoned and asked me to go
for an afternoon drive with him
… we often did that.

He came by with Shandy, picked me up and off we went.
And on a bench overlooking the ocean at Qualicum Beach
… again
… he asked me to marry him.

And this time I knew
… the obstacles we had talked about were nothing
as long as we faced them together.

I realized that his love for me was so deep
as was mine for him
and that spending the rest of our lives together,
… no matter how long, how short,
was part of “Divine Love.”

Six weeks later he had sold his little house
I had sold my little house;
a new little house was purchased
and we were married and moved into our “forever home.”

Our wedding day was a day marked by ‘clouds’
… physical rain clouds
… other ‘clouds’
but we knew that we would face any and all clouds

We were the love of each other’s lives
and we were grateful.

Over the years
… laughter filled our home
… deep conversations filled our home
… joy and peace and hope filled our home
… Divine Love filled our home.

On this day,
my beloved took his leave of this Planet Earth
but never
… never ever
takes his leave of my heart.

Like other calligraphers
he joins others in that Great-Scriptorium-in-the-Sky,
and is singing in that lovely voice of his
the six words of his reality:
… “It is well with my soul.”

Through a cloud of sadness
… love shines and always will
And when the time times for me to join him
our cremains will be together
in a unique box crafted by our wood artist friend.

Death may bring the end of life
but it does not end a relationship
for the love we were so blessed to share
will never end.

Rest in peace my beloved Hans.
Rest in peace.

<Hans van der Werff April 29, 1929 – June 26, 2016>


© june maffin

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