The bus we were taking to the stadium stopped dead in the gridlock. We hopped off and walked on the snowy, icy sidewalks for more than a mile to get there on time. We bustled along with people in the same situation. We acknowledged each other with:
People who didn’t have tickets to the event saw the mess and wondered about it. “What’s going on?” they asked.
“Trevor Noah,” was the answer.
The words Trevor Noah are likely to raise the blood pressure of many Ottawans for the next while.
But a little snow (or a lot) didn’t stop us. We arrived in time for the start of his show. He started with questions a South African who doesn’t like snow and cold would ask.
Why do we live here?
Why do we not move?
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since, because I love it here. But what exactly do I love, and how, and why?
Trevor Noah wasn’t a fan of our showpiece attraction – the Rideau Canal Skateway. But for us, it is JOY itself to skate for what feels like forever.
“In every religious tradition there is a practice of devotion and a practice of transformation . . . Devotion means trusting more in ourselves and in the path we follow. Transformation means to practice the things this path imposes on us.”
Perhaps an impartial view is best? The glass is neither half full or half empty; it just is.
No matter how you see your glass, it is yours to do with as you wish. You can choose to drink from it and savour the contents, or empty it and fill it with something else, or add something to it to make it more interesting.
Your 2019 New Year glass is here, and there’s one thing it’s full of: potential.
Last week we travelled to the funeral of a friend who lived for 99 dynamic, gratitude-filled years.
During the service, the leader spoke about how Jessie made notes in her Bible beside meaningful passages.
“This is the day that God has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Beside that psalm, she had written, “I do! I do! I do!”
And she did.
Jessie had learned to persevere and find gratitude through the hardest times, including the loss of a spouse when she was a young mother of four children and, later, the death of one of those children.
Almost ten years ago when she turned 90, I wrote this poem to rejoice and be glad in a friend. It was inspired by this Hafiz quote.
“I am the hole in a flute that God’s breath moves through.”
The wind blows, tentative at first Gentle lullabies for new life “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles” First Steps Inkwells in school desks Hopscotch and hide-and-seek.
The breath wafts, bright youthful notes Transcending the Great Depression “We Sure Got Hard Times Now” Never enough Hand-me-downs Sweets a treasured treat.
The wind gusts, stronger and unbending Rising above war years all too real “Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye” War bonds Silk stockings painted on Evenings by the radio.
The breath carries, steady and assured Young wife and mother in her home “Teach Your Children” Scraped knees Hands on feverish foreheads Love disguised as irritation.
The wind slows, a sombre requiem The loss of those far too young “Paint It Black” Tears fall I heard the news Hugs shared through hurt.
The breath renews, harmonious and healing The first laugh after the pain “A Brand New Day” Comforts shared Scars fade Looking to the future.
The breath moves, celebrating and dancing Life not defined by age “Never Grow Old” Vivid grace Her music The breath of God.
Her Wonder Day would not be for work, worry, doing or wanting. It would be for walking, dancing, holding hands, contemplating and enjoying the sweetness of life.
This week I’m wonder walking in London, England. As I walk and bump up against history on every block, I wonder and learn. As I meet new people, fall into the magic of West End theatre productions and expand my knowledge of British ales, I appreciate how “wonder” full the city is.
If a full Wonder Day is out of reach, even a Wonder Moment pivots a day from ordinary to holy.
What in your environment right now makes you wonder about it?
What in your environment right now make you think, How wonder-full?
I’m grateful for the combination of creative solitude and family celebration I enjoyed over the weekend.
I’m also grateful for past blogs to turn to after I used the creative solitude for other purposes, and the family celebration was way to fun to interrupt to write.
The boy I wrote about in this post from last year has grown up and he no longer follows this practice. I miss it! But no matter. He taught me a timeless lesson during that brief delightful phase of his childhood.
Monday evening is the regular library time for a father and a small boy. Those two are the highlight of my week.
At the time of their visit, I work in the room that houses the book drop. The murmur of their voices and the scraping sound of a step-stool being pulled into position comes to me through the slot. The child’s feet climb up one step on the stool and another as he prepares for his book return ritual.
“Thank you, book. Good-bye,” he says to the first book. He pushes it through the slot. “Bam!” he shouts.
He performs this small ceremony for every book. He returns 10 to 15 books, on average, so his process takes some time. If there are people waiting behind him, he doesn’t adjust his pace; he savours his moment.
I stop whatever I’m doing and savour his moment too. I smile widely.