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On the Brink

By Belinda

It is the weekend of new beginnings, whether a new grade, a new school, or university. Susan spent part of the past two weeks kitting out and setting up an apartment in New Brunswick for her son Joel who will be there for the next four years studying surveying. On Sunday his dad took him to the airport. We are all going to miss him, but none so much as Susan and Ron.

On Sunday we stood at the back of the church after service, chatting; Jake, Summer, Heather and I; about their plans going into the fall. Jake has a full time job and plans to work and save so that he can pursue his dream of working in film production; Summer just graduated grade 12 but is going back to upgrade a few courses and Heather is just starting grade 12. All of them so full of promise I get a buzz just from listening to their dreams; catching the excitement; praying while I listen, blessing their lives.

Kiki, Rebecca and Tippy went north with Paul in August to a First Nation 2000 kilometers and a world away. All of them went with purpose. They went to learn; they went to witness; they went to invest and encourage. They came back full of memories of beauty and peace, and determined to learn more and make a difference.

This morning, Rebecca, who left scattered belongings behind in the van when they got back; called to see if she could come and pick them up. There was a hoodie; a gift for her brother; a bottle of sand from a northern beach to share with a friend, and wild blueberries. Unfortunately we all still forgot about the two little wild blueberry plants, sitting in our laundry room sink!

On the phone her voice sounded soft and quiet, a little shy; but as she sat at our kitchen table for a few moments before starting for home, she shared her tentative future plans as she goes into her third year of university. There was something in her eyes, and in the set of her jaw, as she talked of the possibility of studying law later so that she can effect changes to policy. It told me she has a steely resolve and determination that should not be underestimated.

Tomorrow morning two of our granddaughters: Tippy and Elizabeth, start high school. They will need courage to face a new position in the pecking order of school--that of "minor niner"--as well as the onslaught of a whole new set of pressures--along with exciting new experiences.

I pray courage for all of these young people; courage to stay true to their values and dreams; to say no to the right things and yes to those things that matter. I pray blessing on each of them and the wisdom to use their gifts well and for the benefit of others.

My cousin Deb, who lives in Spain, just watched the movie Veronica Guerin about the Irish journalist who was killed by drug lords. She used her gift of investigative journalism to publish stories that turned up the heat on corruption. Deb wanted me to hear the song from the movie, "One More Day," by Sinead O'Connor, because she thought I would like it. I loved it; but as a result, had to find out who Veronica Guerin was. Her story fit so well with the thoughts already percolating in my brain. Her life made a difference.

Within a week of her murder, the Irish parliament enacted the Proceeds of Crime Act 1996 and the Criminal Assets Bureau Act 1996, so that assets purchased with money obtained through crime could be seized by the government. 

Courage sometimes has a high price. May all of us, not just the young, be brave enough to stand firm for what we believe and what is right.


I live a block from U of T and we're surrounded by FROSH week activities. All these young people doing young people things, all with excitement and hope and purpose - it's exhausting. September has me much more nostalgic than any other time of the year ... the 'fresh start' feeling that came with the new school year was intoxicating. Now, at my age, it's harder and harder to find a belief in a fresh start ... maybe that's the real tragedy of aging.
Belinda said…
Oh, what a poignant comment Dave, and with a misty and wet morning to agree with your mood!

I am a bundle of "fresh starts" no matter how old, though.

I know the hard knocks that young idealists may take, but know that a voice raised with the message God gives it to speak, can be heard above the crowd if only it has courage and won't be put out. Your voice speaks to SO many, and your platform is larger than ever. Be encouraged dear friend.
oh, gosh, I just re-read what I wrote it does sound a bit grim doesn't it ... it wasn't meant to sound that way, I was aiming for wistful.
Belinda said…
Ha ha! Wistful it was--not grim.
Anonymous said…
I've always got far more excited about the possiblities of September than January. I guess I see so much potential in the hopes and hard work of education.

I also have a thing for stationary supplies. Yes - I'm out there now. I love new pens and notebooks - no matter how old I get. Why - you could do anything with those!!! Create anything. I guess once again they reflect potential.

I imagine if you grabbed and eraser and took a deep breath it would take you back...ahhh...there is so much potential in all of us and September to me is a time to retouch it.
Belinda said…
Anonymous, me too, with the stationary supplies! Yes! A new pen and a notebook does have magic potential in every fibre!

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