I grew up in Victoria, a very British city, full of tourist attractions and the honeymooners' seashore. “The Dashwood” mentioned in my book, “a bulwark beside the shore”, is a wonderful manor bed and breakfast that I have stayed in several times, located on the sea front and park ridge of the downtown, a veritable destination. I have always loved the poetry of Victoria, the place of flowers, a remarkable change from Ontario where I was born. The first thing I noticed as a six year old in Victoria was the daffodils, then the flowering fruit trees, then the flowering baskets downtown, and then the Butchart Gardens. Our family home always had a front flower bed profuse with daffodils. How precise that now my humanitarian motto is “one daffodil per village” with the intent to reach out to every country and facilitate a holistic infrastructure.
The fine fragrance of poetry, summed up in "The Fragrance of Glory", speaks of a time of freedom, a time when heaven prevailed over the things and places of earth. And his Kingdom, as it touches our world becomes manifest in the spiritual dimension of visiting another country and facing its poverty, then returning home and facing our own. For we tap the riches of his glory among the poor, in their understanding of a spiritual world which feeds them. I left my life of nobility and title once, and went to live among the poor. I was the Madonna of the streets. I lived amongst the street people of Maple Ridge for three years, and conceded to their request for counterpoint. I played the grand piano for the hungry and homeless of the Salvation Army over the lunch meal.
I believe that in this time there is a prophetic harvesting of the earth, and the hungry are just waiting for something to draw and ask them in, to fill their souls with a spiritual meal of satisfying dimensions, to challenge their dreams, and call out their destinies. If I was Mary, birthing a son in this culture I would say that “He is innocent” of that which is evil. The premise of my book, was in part, that I have suffered, and I am also innocent as a child of God. No one wants to suffer their own martyrdom though, we would prefer anything else, yet we must not fall away in times of persecution. We must pray that he will keep us blameless and true to his purpose, so we become the fullness of his dream in us.
I have chosen to stay in my spiritual journey alongside the nuns of St. Clare, and in many ways my life has emulated that of St. Clare’s: following the path of chastity and the convent, shutting herself in the church and choosing a life of poverty and hard work. In this way, I also believe the flower St. Clare holds in her picture, if that of three lilies, represents THE FLEUR-DE-LIS.