April’s Hidden Gems

Margot Bishop

April’s “hidden gems’ are all about the talents hidden in each and every one of us. Everyone has a desire to achieve something creative. Let that talent or interest shine. Do not let anyone try to discourage you. Whatever interests you, let that blossom. Do not allow people to influence you in a bad way, or demean or treat your idea as silly. Every creative idea may become a hobby that could and often does become a lifelong passion. Also, as we mature and change so do our hobbies. Let those ideas change with you. No matter what other people say or think, what interests you is very personal, and should be recognized as that. And remember—hobbies are fun.

What do you want to do? If a hobby intrigues you, but you do not know much about it, research it and find out more information. If you start something and it becomes less interesting, do not be discouraged, you can always rethink your actions and start something new. There are literally thousands of things that you can consider making your hobby.

With sports, anything from walking to ice hockey to kite surfing could be a potential hobby. Of course, there is the expense of hobbies. All factors must be figured in. Do I need lessons, special equipment, certain types of surroundings, like tennis courts?

If you are a gardener, some of your favourite ‘hidden gems’ may be the delight and wonder of the lovely plants resting in our soil: snowdrops, crocus, even heather blooming beneath the snow cover. The potential of our rich Valley earth becomes clear very early in the season: planting early peas, harvesting the first rhubarb.

If you like doing things by yourself maybe collecting is your forte. Everything from stamp collecting to models (cars, airplanes, ships). Knitters often do projects by themselves and then meet to collect or combine them (think of blankets or prayer shawls). That could be the best of both worlds—solitude AND togetherness.

The world of art is full of remarkable things to do—from sketching with charcoal or pastel pencils, to painting with watercolours, acrylics or oils. Carving all different mediums, sculpting with everything from clay to concrete. Your hobby, your ideas, your masterpiece.

Music, acting, writing, dance, comes from that inner self. The one that makes you the wonderful person that you are. The love of cooking (and eating) can create great chefs or that perfect grilled cheese sandwich made for your loved one. Even making the pottery dishes that you serve on could become a hobby and even a business.

Volunteering is a kind of hobby for some people. They love being involved, and a good thing too, as they are the backbone of most organizations.

Here is a quote from an old movie (Auntie Mame): “The world is a banquet, and all you need is a fork.” Please remember though that some people’s banquets are not as bountiful as ours in the Valley.

Have fun with whatever hobby you choose. You are unique, one of a kind, the pleasure you will receive will stay with you long after the activity has ended. Good memories are truly fantastic, so are hobbies.


An act of kindness or a daily good deed (done anonymously) not only makes the receiver feel good but the doer as well. With the many religious holidays coming up in our calendar year, it may be a time for thoughtful and respectful good deeds. Show your neighbours, and strangers, that the world is still a kind place to live, especially our Valley and province.

My dad used to say if you did a good deed every day, you got a reward in heaven. It was a joke, as good deeds are not done for any kind of reward—just that nice feeling of well-being. We should all be kind to one another: strangers, neighbours, and family too—the people we often take for granted. Be good to yourselves and others.