Go Together

Will Webster’s Story by Fadila Chater

Will Webster stutters. He’s stuttered for as long as he can remember. It’s often the first thing he’ll mention when getting to know people. Not because he’s looking for pity. But because he believes everyone deserves to be understood.

Though, it would be a lie to say his stutter never embarrassed him.

“I’m still kind of haunted by experiences of being laughed at and people being impatient with me for not being able to spit it out,” he says. Will sits with his wife Anne at their home in Bedford, Nova Scotia. They eat their lunch, a fresh chef’s salad, together on their patio. Anne, a gentle and soft-spoken woman, apologizes for eating during our interview. I say it’s no bother at all. It was a warm summer day and the pair had been renovating their kitchen all morning. They had missed lunch and were just catching their meal as I knocked on the … Read the rest

The Eagle:

Dianne Levy’s story
By Fadila Chater 


Dianne Levy sits on a bench overlooking Lake Pisiquid in Windsor, Nova Scotia. It’s mid-afternoon and a cool breeze keeps the flies at bay just long enough to enjoy relief from the hot sun. An eagle appears overhead and Dianne is overcome with joy and awe. She explains that eagles, in Buddhism and other world religions, is an auspicious sign. I later come to learn that Eagles are a symbol of the human spirit, as they are known to fly to the highest altitudes, and therefore closer to the creator. The massive bird flies into the horizon and Dianne and I continue our conversation. But the encounter with the eagle lingers in my mind.  

“I think things happen for a reason,” she says. 

Dianne smiles as she talks about the activity that she and the Windsor Recreation Department put together this morning. Chalk the Causeway was a big success. Hundreds of young families … Read the rest

Garden of Eden – Sean and Erika’s Story


By Fadila Chater 

I pull into the driveway and see two white-haired cherubs dressed in pajamas playing in the tall grass.  

“Hi!” one sings to me. 

“Hello there,” I respond. 

Her hair shimmers like a million silk strands on a sunlit loom. A tall man in a wicker hat appears behind them.  

“Hey, how’s it going,” he says.  

“Good! How are you? I hope I’m okay to park here,” I say. 

He nods his head yes. I look for the keys to lock my doors, but he tells me there’s really no need.  

Sean MacDonald and his little girls, Clara, 6 and Lily, 4, lead me to their backyard. I’m taken aback by the beauty and serenity of what I see; tall, luscious grass that rolls down a hill overlooking the expansive Nova Scotian countryside. I turn my head to see a brood of hens behind a chicken wire fence. We sit at the picnic table that’s centred like an … Read the rest

A global village:


Md Zaman Khan’s story 
By Fadila Chater 

Md Zaman Khan rummages through the refuse that’s polluting his beloved city of Kolkata, India. In his hands are dirt-caked plastics and food wrappers. The hot sun beats down on his back and pearls of sweat form on his forehead. Focusing on the ground in front of him, he feels the sharp gaze of disapproving and puzzled looks on his back. Why was a young, middleclass man, the son of an engineer, picking up garbage off the street like a beggar? Nevertheless, the 22-year-old continues picking up trash, despite how ridiculous or improper he appears to others on the street.  

“Look, these guys are doing great work.” 

Stunned, Zaman looks up and sees a child, no older than five- or six-years-old. The boy tightly grasps his mother’s hand; the way an elephant grasps his mother’s tail with his trunk.  

“This is why I send you to school,” the … Read the rest

A Little Help From My Friends: Ann Knowles

Ann Knowles
“How would you like to go to Africa?” Bill Thomson asked his children at breakfast. It was 1969. Bill’s daughter, Ann, was 16-years-old and just finishing up driving lessons on her parents’ convertible. 
“Oh, yeah… neat,” she said, thinking it was another one of her father’s travel fantasies. Days later, Ann’s bags were packed for South Africa. 
“Sixteen years old, just learning how to drive, had a convertible, and we were going to Africa?” Ann says, now 66-years-old, sitting in her Windsor home decades later. “That was a shocker.” 
Bill had itchy feet. He was a civil engineer and town planner. His interest in housing development led him to lecturing opportunities at universities all over the world. The Thomsons were never in one place for too long. 
“I grew up all over the place. We were in Britain and we were in South Africa and Lesotho, and New Brunswick and Winnipeg,” Ann says.  
After Ann got her teaching
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