I was just speaking to a friend about her 92 year old father an inspiration to us all. Len Saltmarsh, is a former Fire chief of Hamilton and past president for the Hamilton Rotary club. He and his anchor, and life partner/wife Dorothy have devoted themselves to the Hamilton community. ‘New and boldly go where you have yet to travel’, must be their daily mantra. Both are exceptionally active in their daily activities, living in their own home, gardening, taking long drives, shopping, attending entertainment events, working with McMaster Medical school as elder advisers with the training of new doctors on the topic of geriatrics, and the list goes on! Dorothy prefers to be the quiet partner of the team, ( note that I have not stated silent, as she is a strong classy woman who is happy to share her opinions with a more subtle style ;)) Len a passionate leader in the Hamilton community, is known for his constant fundraising money for under privileged children, volunteering to help promote literacy within the school system and countless other community support activities. He is a man with opinion, ( at times strong opinion). He has the courage to colourfully share his ideas in conversation. Moreover, what is further inspiring is that all his conversations are rooted in his curious nature to constantly and boldly ask questions, seek to understand by asking further probing questions, constantly observe his environment and all the while digesting and responding with deep respect, compassion support and encouragement.

Reflecting on In Search of Something Green http://www.friesenpress.com/bookstore  as a story which can be used as a metaphor for our adult life challenges, I think of Len as a real life example of the elder or grandfather who is listening, offering proactive support. He and Dorothy through their daily adventurous carpe diem attitudes, show us that at those moments when like Matthew we are afraid to make that big jump into the deep dark unknown, we need to have faith, persistence, celebrate our accomplishments and build on our courage, which in turns feeds our self confidence, humility and compassion. It’s a circle of courage, competence, confidence to paying forward in compassion. Isn’t that what living fully means? Thank you Len and Dorothy for being purveyors of this wonderful circle of life!

Looking for an inspiring read on confidence? http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/21505504-catalyst