Saturday, 25 March 2017

Where do you find your Lean to?

A few weeks ago at a prayer breakfast one of the participants shared part of a reading from the book  May I Have this Dance? by Joyce Rupp.  The writing that she shared piqued  my interest so I took the information about the book along with the author's name and found a lovely second hand copy at the Amazon book store.  It arrived last week just in time for my meditation group meeting.  I shared the March reflection with the members present.

The imagery for March is all about the lean to.  Depending on your understanding and use of a lean to then you can appreciate that it is attached to another building or trees.  It can provide cover for wood piles or shelter for people and animals out of doors.  A lean to is dependable. If you search for a definition of the leanto  it is described as a shack or shed with a slanted roof.  It is also described as a most popular dwelling for survival.  It is not a permanent haven.  The reflection went on to ask us to consider the lean tos in our lives and how God has been a lean to for us.

As with much of this kind of imagery I had to let it live in my thoughts and imagination for some time. Despite the fact that I am not a camper and most unlikely ever to avail of such an outdoor dwelling for the purposes of finding shelter I find this imagery quite beautiful.  I can imagine the rustic image, the excitement of coming upon such a dwelling while in the great outdoors and it forces me to reflect on how the lean to has been availed of, when it has been used, the frequency of use and the resultant changes.   The beauty is in the simplicity of the structure.  Dependable, enables survival, has a definite purpose.  When we apply that same imagery and description to our lives we realize that we all avail of the lean to.  We find it in relationships with people and in relationship with God.  We find it in areas that we like to go such as a park, beach or shady tree.  We all have a lean to and suddenly with the beautiful description that Rupp gave you can see the lean to all around and in various forms, it all depends on what or where you need to lean.  We all need that lean to, whether it is a person or creator or place to go in our lives for comfort and safety.   Where do you find your lean to?

Monday, 20 March 2017

Trinkets, Momemtos, Memories

This weekend some time was spent in an effort to catch up on  recorded TV programs.  One of the programs NCIS ( I have no idea which episode) did the story line of a young officer dying from cancer who needed closure to an unanswered question.  The story plays out and some characters are okay being in the presence of one who is dying, others struggle.  Towards the end of the program the NCIS agent who struggled being with this dying officer comes to see her and they have a wonderful conversation.  It is during this conversation that the young officer gives the NCIS agent a momento.  "This" she says "is not to remember me by when I am dead, this is so I will remember you."

This line has remained lodged in my mind since watching this program and while I mull it over and over I can't help but think of the beauty of that statement and sentiment.  It means that those momentos that once seemed so cumbersome to have to keep (but that I can't give away because so and so gave it to me) have a new meaning.  Each of the items that have been gifted by people, some living and some dead, have a significance attached to them already but to look at them in a whole new light seems to make the item even more of a treasure.

This reference as also made me a bit melancholy as I think about one of the last conversations I had with my Dad before he died.  We were sitting together in the ICU unit and talking about his immiment death.  I told him that the worst part was that I would miss him so very much,  He reached out and patted my hand and then tapped my hand so I would look to read his lips as he mouthed the words that he would always be with me, I will be no further away than your heart.  Yes, we also cried together and has difficult as that conversation was it still gives me great comfort nearly twenty years later.  Are there momentos?  Yes of course there are! and until this weekend I lived under the impression that it was a token to remember him by (and others) but now maybe, just maybe it might be so that he will also remember me!

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Dear Friend . . .

Many years ago, in fact when I was a high school student, it was quite popular to have penpals. These penpals could be in the same province or they might be a world away.  It was always incredibably exciting to receive a letter.  The person writing might share something about their culture, stories of their life and family or what the current news of their life was,  Sadly, they were friendships that did not endure beyond highschool.

The letters and relationships that were built for that period of time were interesting ones.  My penpals were all across the globe.  Carol lived in Birmingham, England and had planned to be a nurse. Sophia lived in  Greece and always included hearts and drawings in the letters and Chiaria lived in India, was Hindu and had very different customs.  Each one added a different dimension to my life from the stories and descriptions that they included in the letters that we shared.

Writing letters is a lost art. It is rare to receive a letter in the mail, but when a letter does come it is still an exciting event.  My DH and I rarely write letters but we are known for sending postcards to a select few people when we travel and include the news of what we are doing and what we saw at this particular place.  As we pack up the house that we currently live in in preparation to move to our new home I packed a memory box that contains the handwritten letters of my DH from our dating years in the early 1990's, before the convenience of email and texting and free calling.

Today I received a rare treat.  I was on the receiving end of a letter in the mailbox.  I eagerly opened it and sat back with a cup of coffee to read the words of my friend, to hear her news and just catch up.  The discripton of her area and the lovely things to see are a temptation and it was easy to feel as if you were there in her living room  sitting across from each other and visiting.

Although I rarely sit and write letters anymore, unless we are travelling,  I do still greatly appreciate them and the excitement of pulling that envelope out of the mailbox and even more I appreciate the person who takes time to sit, put pen to paper and write.

In an age like ours which is not given to letter writing, we forget what an important part in played in people's lives
Anatole Broyard

Monday, 6 February 2017

I Wish....

Every now and then I see a poem that is old but deeply meaningful.  The intent of the words is to convey a message of great sincerity.  Today is another one of those days where there words were particularly poignant and definitely brought  tears to my eyes.  I would go so far has to say that I had great difficulty reading the words as they hit profoundly.  Perhaps it hit hard because I have an aging parent and she has been very ill, perhaps it hit hard because there is a great physical distance and one never knows when it will be the last visit or telephone conversation, and perhaps the why is really most irrelevant.   We have all had to face those final good byes with only memories to sustain us and see us through the difficult times.

The poem, I wish you enough  (Bob Perks), stems from an Irish blessing and speaks to us on so many levels.  It is not only about good byes but wishig goodness and beauty on others.    In light of the turmoil the whole world seems to be experiencing, the impact of the political negativity that is sprouted nearly everywhere and the hatred that seems to be overflowing in our society then perhaps it is not too timely a reminder for us all to have good thoughts and wishes for every person, even those we have yet to meet.  Is that wishful thinking on my part?  Absolutely!  But despite the harsh political climes that we may currently be living with we have not been given a free pass to say and do as we please with no thought to the consequences.  By nature I am not a particularly political person but I find myself severely challenged and drawn into conversations that can quickly become heated as strong opinions exist on all sides.  There is, unfortunately, no simple solution to where we seem to be heading.  So perhaps the timely retelling of such poems and stories are a reminder to us all to be kinder, gentler persons.

I wish you enough
I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright no matter how grey the day may appear.
I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun even more.
I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive and everlasting.
I wish you enough pain so that even the smallest of joys in life may appear bigger.
I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting.
I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess.
I wish you enough hellos to get you through the final good-bye.

(The copyright for this poem belongs to the author: Bob Perkins)

 I am also sure that others are similarly impacted by the beauty of a story or a poem that for one reason or another becomes deeply personal, worth sharing and retelling.  So today I wish you enough, enough of whatever it is you need to overcome obstacles, hatred, uncertainty, fear.  I wish you enough of whatever you need to feel like celebrating, experience joy, smile.

I simply wish you ....enough!

Monday, 9 January 2017

Distance is no Barrier

My DH and I have been enjoying the Christmas season at home in Newfoundland this year.  We have celebrated with old friends, renewed relationships and made travel plans with others.  We have visited family, shared meals and enjoyed being with and seeing so many wonderful people.  As our time here draws to a close I was asked by my young friend AC and his younger brother if I would be willing to watch a movie of AC's choice.  Having no clue whatsoever  about the movie Earth to Echo, but with an open mind and the assurance that it was not a sad movie we watched it together.

It is a beautiful movie and filled with lots of wonderful scenes.  It is a story of friendship that is built and grows despite the obvious differences that exist not only between the young people but the robot (or alien) that they undertake  to help. It is friends who help each other out of difficult times, never leave each other behind, search for each other in the face of adversity and fear.  It is about trust.  It was an awesome recommendation that I thoroughly enjoyed with my young friend and it taught beautiful messages through out.

The messages throughout the movie were significant for me as we left behind so many family, friends and relationships when we moved halfway across this vast country but my friend AC in his wisdom left me with an all important message from this movie that we watched together...he taught me that distance is no barrier between true friends.

Having a friend light years away taught us that distance is just a state of mind. If you're best friends you always will be no matter where you are in the universe.
Earth to Echo Quote

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Take a Hike

This fourth day of Christmas dawned fair and fine.  The temperatures in Newfoundland are practically balmy, a mere minus one! It was too nice not to be in the great outdoors so my friend LC and her boys AC and MC as well as her mom and Hershey, the chocolate lab all took me for a walk along Ned's Pond.  This is a local trail and simply glorious!

The trail was beautifully decorated by the local people with ornament, bows and wreaths.  It was a festive as well as a beautiful walk.  One could certainly appreciate the beauty of nature, the sights, the stillness, and the fresh air.  Around every turn there was something to admire either from the decorations or the sights. 

There were lots of people out walking enjoying the beauty of the day and the sights along the way. So here are few pictures to enjoy from the beauty of this fourth day of Christmas

The covered bridge that marked the beginning (or in this case the end) of the trail

Decorations in the snow

Mittens on the tree

A decorated tree

A fire pit for an out door cook up...forgot the kettle today!

The views are spectacular, the running water still flows freely

a foot bridge to cross the water

A snow covered beaver lodge, one of 2 lodges. 
The second had a for sale sign

The beaver lodge has a few decorations

a look across the pond and the beaver stripped trees

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

On the first day of Christmas...

On this first day of Christmas we are sitting tight in our home in Winnipeg.  Christmas Day dawned crisp and clear with the threat of bad weather to come.  Mother Nature did not disappoint and overnight there was more than 20 centimetres of snow dumped on "Winter"peg.  For the first time in the three years at our current address there was no way to open the back door and there was no way to get in the backyard to shovel said door since the back gate was also blocked with snow.  With a little creativity and foresight to keep the shovel within arms reach of the back door it was wiggled open enough to reach the shovel and to one handedly get enough snow out of the way to get the door open a bit then a bit more and eventually enough for two excited critters to leap out in the snow banks (suffice it to say they were the only happy ones about snow in this house).

We were initially scheduled to fly on this first day of Christmas as my true love gave to me tickets home.  Old man winter had a completely different idea!  So we patiently wait for the rescheduled flight thanks to the wonderful customer service agents at Westjet.  We will get there if a little late!
This first day of Christmas is not without additional issues and the power got knocked out and we await the hard working hydro personnel to restore it for us.

This all got me to thinking about the song the Twelve Days of Christmas and the lovely items that are sung about.  As we cleared snow, I thought what would I change those lyrics to....on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me help with the snow clearing.... it kind of has a neat ring to it!
I can't wait to see what the second day of Christmas will bring!

Here we are all finished clearing the driveway....only about 3 hours