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The Light Shines In

For today's sunshine--so gorgeous, life-bringing and joyous! Morning entry in my gratitude journal: April 23, 2018

 I had no idea that the day would bring horror and devastation. The very sunshine I had rejoiced in, brought others to a Toronto street on which they met death or severe injury through the deliberate act of a disturbed man. Countless others remain affected by what they witnessed.

Early the next morning I step off a Go-Train into Toronto's Union Station.  I find the subway train going north to Sheppard East, where I have a meeting, as an announcement that will repeat throughout the day, reminds us that there is no stop today at  NorthYork Centre due to a police investigation. No one needs further explanation. Heaviness hangs in the air in sharp contrast to the smiling and helpful employees who stand ready to help confused travellers.

I sit to the right of two men, one middle-aged, one young. They are talking, when seconds before the doors are about to close, the y…
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Angels Don't Always Wear White

"Glad-eyes," that's what he has, Molson, this friend of mine with golden hair and lolling tongue.

We run from the house into the evening air, his nails tap-tap-tap-tapping lightly on the pavement as my feet thud-thud beside him.
He dances with exuberant joy at being "out." Jumping high, he catches his red leash in his mouth and tugs me along; pulling it as if he is playing a joke, pretending that it is he taking me for the walk, which is probably true. He is so HAPPY and he communicates that with every fibre of his being and glance of his glad eyes.

The first rush of excitement settles and he trots forward with focus, pacing his trot perfectly to my stride. He is a gentleman of a dog, disciplined and well bred.

He reads the ground with his nose, as avidly as my father used to read the newspaper, and leaves messages behind for others who will follow. He looks as if he is about very serious business. I don't hurry him; it seems a small thing to wait when he is su…

Searching for Christmas

I wrote this seven years ago and Molson has aged since that long ago walk on a sweltering August day. This will be his last Christmas unless there is some special dispensation for the most faithful of dogs. It was so good to read this, and remember "then." And the message of the story still rings true.

August was hot and steamy. Sweat trickled and tickled down spines and hair clung droopily to heads. I explained to some English guests with a craving for bracing “fresh air,” that flinging open the windows would not help at all. After a few days here they believed me.

I got into the habit of taking late evening walks with Molson, our golden retriever. Normally he bolts from the house like an arrow from a bow, but even he moved slowly on those sweltering August evenings, with the fields surrounding our village buzzing and humming with the rhythmic pulse of insect life, and the intoxicating scent of summer blooms hanging in the still air.

With my senses drenched in summer, I had Ch…

Thanks-Giving

Lord, your love is evident everywhere I look, When you were making this fair earth, What tender care you took! You could have made the birds talk, As plain as plain could be, But joyous cheerful melodies, Ring from tree to tree. The sky so blue above us, Your love did hang in place, Without earth's special atmosphere, We'd stare right into space. In every sight, in every sound-- Your love is there--outpoured. Oh, how I want to thank you, My great Creator, Lord.
Belinda, 1980

Mercy Me

Our son Pete usually calls to chat during his long commute to and from work in the city and it was during one of these conversations recently that I mentioned having the gift of mercy.

He loves to tease me about what he describes as my "random mercy," and says that I'm always able to "ferret out" the good in people. A particularly flattering choice of metaphor, I thought.

He launched into his "axe murderer" routine, saying he imagines me saying, "Well, on the good side, he always cleans up after himself. And he keeps his tools nice and sharp."

He muttered something about not many people wanting me on a parole board--getting carried away now--he was on a roll--I was laughing so hard I could hardly catch my breath--the fuel to his fire.

Pete may have been exaggerating for dramatic and comedic effect, but when I told my granddaughter Tori about his teasing, she said, "Omie, remember that terrible dream I had a few weeks ago? There was someone …

Naturally Imperfect

It was midsummer when I drove for miles down roads that wound up hills and down, to buy some apples for my small pie business. As I was leaving, the woman behind the counter of the rural country market told me that they were the end of the lineand there would be no more until the new crop came in.

The three large boxes I managed to get represented quite a few pies, but one by one they all found a home before the new crop was available from my supplier. When my freezer was finally empty, I went to my local No Frills, which is a little more expensive, but I looked for the apples in bags labelled, "Naturally Imperfect." These apples lack conformity in size or shape--they aren't quite "perfect," but are perfectly delicious in the pies.
Recently as I was thinking about a fault that was obvious in an acquaintance, I thought of the "naturally imperfect" label, and how appropriately it could be applied to humans. In that moment, instead of persisting in my crit…

Moment of Decision...

It's been almost a week since we returned from Mishkeegogamang, a First Nation 2000 kilometers north of our home, and I feel as though I have a suitcase full of stories to unpack. 



We went as a team of 23 diverse people, brought together by a common desire to bring encouragement, hope, practical help and spiritual support to the people of Mish. Ten of our team were teenagers, and this story is from Tippy, who was one of  them. It happened on our first full day there and is shared as she told it to me:



Susan said that we needed to set up a buoy line, and I said, "Okay, I can do that," not thinking that the water was going to be as cold as it was. So me, Dylan, Tori, Jared and Max all went down to the water to set it up.We got everything ready and had anchored the two 50 foot sides and were taking out the 100 foot rope for the back of the buoy line. We anchored part of the 100 foot rope to one of the sides and were taking it across to the other side, when the side that had b…