Joy flows from simple things

By Ruth Griffiths

Marjorie Bodnarchuk was honoured this year for the joy she brings to the community. She is the 2021 inductee into the Prince Albert Council of Women’s Hall of Fame.

Marj has been able to share her love of music with the wider community, especially at Pineview nursing home, where she was director of care before her retirement. She enjoys the old-time tunes. She has a natural ear for music, so if you can hum it, she can play it on piano or guitar.

Although her days are full to brimming with community service of all types, Marj always carves out a special time of quietness for music. She finds healing in music and shares that healing with others.

I asked Marj where she finds joy.

“I find joy in many things. In music I find deep down joy that flows through my veins and through my heart.

“Music is wonderful to listen to, to play and to sing. To create music for others is a wonderful thing.”

Prior to the pandemic, Marj often played old-time music and led singing at local long-term care homes. When restrictions eased in June, she led a musical event outdoors at Pineview. She led an afternoon of singing outdoors in Shellbrook in September.

“We are so happy we can sing again.”

Marjorie finds joy in simple things like baking muffins. She enjoys the process of putting together ingredients, creating new taste experiences and, most of all, sharing her baking with others.

“(Baking) is a very satisfying, joyful process… always comforting. Such a wonderful bit of happiness.”

Nature also brings joy into her life. She enjoys the changing of the seasons and the changes from morning, afternoon and evening.

“I enjoy the colours, the freshness of the outdoors. Throughout the seasons there is so much to see and celebrate.”

She often brings nature into her home. For example she brought inside some bare tree branches that she will decorate to compliment her Christmas tree.

Marjorie enjoys decorating for the seasonal celebrations throughout the year. She helped to decorate her church, Calvary United, for Christmas.

She finds joy in the Christian holidays, music, food and getting together with family and friends.

The pandemic curtailed larger gatherings, but didn’t extinguish her joy in celebrating with others.

“It’s been a long dry spell. We’ve been celebrating in different ways.

In January 2021, she could not host the large Ukrainian Christmas gathering that she usually enjoys. Her sister came to visit and joined her and her husband for a traditional supper. They phoned her daughter in Saskatoon and together lit candles and sang traditional songs. Then they phoned an aunt in Saskatoon, then an aunt in Regina. Although miles apart… “we were connected.”

In nature, in baking, in singing with others “the joy is there. It springs forth, fresh like sparkling snow.”

— Each year during Advent (the four weeks leading up to Christmas), I challenge myself to write columns on the Advent themes. This is the last in the series. I wish you hope, peace, love and joy.