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  • Writer's pictureMonique Sliedrecht

A New Day

Updated: Apr 16

To mark the occasion of a new year in my life, in the early morning I went for a walk along the top of the cliffside to a favourite landmark of mine on the coast.  It is a castle ruin called Bucholie and sits looking out over the North Sea like a kind of sentinel, weathered, overgrown, but strong through the years. 

I remember when I first walked to it more than 20 years ago, surprised that it was not sign-posted. There was no parking lot or fencing around it.  Accidentally coming upon this ruin on my initial walk along this cliffside made me feel like an intrepid explorer, as though I had discovered it myself!

The air was fresh and warm on the day of my birthday - a window of good weather in the midst of all the usual rain and wind.  It was glorious!  And I felt so grateful. Grateful for another morning, and another year.  Grateful for fresh outlooks and opportunities.


Over the last weeks of wind and storms, the sand has been swept away from the beach exposing the rocks.  The sea has spit up a wide variety of things: buoys cast adrift from boats, a sheep's skull, the large egg case of a skate (otherwise known as a 'lady's purse')....

Breathing in the early spring air is rejuvenating. 

I haven’t been out as much as I’ve liked in the last while.  My body is stiff and creaky. So it took some effort to get myself going again, but boy it feels good to stretch the limbs!


Recently there was a lot of excitement around the viewing of the eclipse - such an amazing moment to be able to witness!

One of my sisters was in Manitoba during this astromical phenomenon.  Due to cloudy conditions, she and her children only saw a hint of the moon passing over the sun via their paper plates, and learned more about it afterwards, drawing diagrams and learning about this historical and cosmic event.

My other sister and her family were in Hamilton, Ontario during the eclipse. School was cancelled and people took off work to be able to witness the brief and remarkable moment in the world. Between the moving clouds my sister and her family had a very good view of the eclipse in totality.

Waiting for the apocalypse

Photo by Mike Tigchelaar, taken from Hamilton, ON © All rights reserved.

A friend and former professor, Joe, travelled from Whidbey Island, Washington to Ohio to see it.  This is what he said when I asked him about it:

'I did see the full eclipse with a little over 3 minutes of total darkness. The temperature dropped from 70 to 65°. The birds started singing and the frogs chirping. It was amazing.

I am attaching a photo from the Internet that shows a bright red spot at the bottom of the eclipsing Sun. I also will attach an explanation of that spot. I saw the spot clearly, but did not know what it was until I researched it.'

I wish I could have been there!

The next total eclipse can be seen from the Arctic, eastern Greenland, Iceland and northern Spain in 2026.

Meet you there?



Like a {solar} eclipse

the colors float.

And the music drifts

like the scent of flowers.

And in the stillness

we, the silent spectators,

hear the whisper of eternity.

Excerpt from "Solar Eclipse" by Rainer Maria Rilke

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1 Comment

Apr 15

Happy Belate Birthday, Monique!

(I trust that the eggs arrived in time.)


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