Margot’s Hidden Gems

Margot Bishop

June’s Hidden Gems are two-fold:

1) The things around us (that we have forgotten or ignored).

2) The strengths that sometimes hide within us. Look inwards and find those hidden gems.

There are all sorts of free things to do this summer: walk, swim, borrow equipment and games from your town, garden, sit and read, play outdoor games. You can find your ancestors and their stories at museums. Did you know that the Municipality of Kings has a free kayak and paddleboard loan program at Aylesford lake in July and August? Or that most lakes have a port-o-potty and trash bin supplied by the county? The parks are free and have tables, some courts and other attractions (water pads, swings, trails). Our libraries have wonderful programs, and some have bikes and even e-bikes.

Optimism is infectious, so are joy, courtesy, forgiveness, generosity, and sharing. It’s A Wonderful Life: the movie title says it all. Also the theme. Think what the world would be without you. Not so wonderful, definitely different. You are unique.

Summertime and the Living is Easy, or so the song says. But it is not so easy in this day and age. Summertime is still wonderful and for many, it is easy living, but not for others. This summer try to make summertime a little easier for someone. Reach inside yourself and touch those hidden gems: compassion, to listen and hear someone; helpfulness, to mow a neighbours’ lawn or weed their garden; kindness, to pick up some groceries or prescriptions for a person who does not have a vehicle; gratitude for the gifts that we have and selflessness in sharing them will make everyone near you appreciate life a little more. Even stubbornness, which we will call tenacity, is a ‘hidden gem’ sometimes.

June—a beautiful month, everything blooming. “People are no different from flowers,” Richard Branson once said. “If you water them, they flourish. If you are not nice to them, they shrivel up.” I like finding light in the darkness: positive thinking. Accept the past and move on—it will be a better future, and you can mould it into a better shape. You always have choices—run away and retreat or stay put and shape things, or maybe find new path and follow it. Past histories may contain things that we are not happy with, but remember, they do not define us. We are always evolving. It only turns to stone when we stop trying to change ourselves or our circumstances. We can overcome painful memories (with determination). Use them as a foundation to build a better or more positive life for ourselves and the people we love. Your heart very seldom leads you astray. Follow your heart. Call upon your inner strengths.

People are drawn to different places: some need the mountains and hills; others only feel free on the prairies, the wild, wide open spaces; some want the valleys, where they can settle and nestle in; still others need the oceans and the smell of the salt air. Wherever you spend this lovely month of June, please remember that you have special hidden gems. The world around you and the world within you. Please stay safe, and have a wonderful June.