Happy new year from the land of snow and hope


Winter finally arrived in my part of the world. By the time the snow stops falling tomorrow morning, we will have 30 cm on the ground.

Here’s how it looked on my street tonight:


This is a land of snow and hope for the group of Syrian refugees who arrived in Ottawa tonight (of all nights!). One man graciously told an Ottawa Citizen reporter, “It’s so beautiful and we can’t even feel the cold.”


Last  year was a tough year. But I decided that I would not give in to fear. Easier said than done. Over the year, my faith in humanity was challenged more than once. And yet, thankfully, many surprisingly good things happened in 2015.

I’m starting this year on a high note. I’ve put together my “top 5 list” of good news from 2015. Some trivial, some important, but all things that make me happy and hopeful:

  1. Coffee is good for you (and the more the better!); and prices for my favourite hot drink are coming down.
  2. Paper books are thriving and independent bookstores are making a comeback! Here is a great list of indies across Canada (my favourite Ottawa bookstore, Black Squirrel, gets a mention!).
  3. Health care workers risked their own lives to contain the world’s worst Ebola outbreak (and Canada invented an effective Ebola vaccine).
  4. A breakthrough in gene editing called CRISPR has opened the door to curing genetic diseases like Huntington’s, as well as cancer and HIV…and the list goes on.
  5. Canada voted in–with a surprise majority–a new government with a strong environmental and social justice agenda, headed by Justin Trudeau (if you hadn’t already heard!). Within weeks of the election, we started talking about curbing climate change, welcoming refugees, and working to build a new relationship with Canada’s indigenous people.

If that doesn’t convince you, maybe this will: last week, a video of Sufi musicians playing Christmas carols united the world across religion, culture and borders. And it delivers a hopeful message:

“Don’t lose faith in humanity just yet.”

Happy new year one and all.


  1. I couldn’t agree more with your top five- and the feeling that we ARE in a better place than we were this time last year. Reasons for optimism- and renewed belief in our shared humanity.

    Happy New Year, Booksy. May all our dreams and positive visions come to pass. xo

  2. Lovely photo and lovely post and sweet video to boot!! Good to end the year with posities..my Dear friend , I wish you and your loved ones nothing but good things for 2016!!! Xo Johanna

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