Showing posts from 2021

The Gift

I read the story over lunch a few days before Christmas of 2016. Alone, I laughed aloud, as it brought to colourful life in my imagination, a hilarious scenario played out in black on white. A day or so later, I was talking to my son, and I said, "Pete, there's a gift I'd love from you this Christmas." "Oh?" he said, surprised, I suppose, at my unusual boldness in asking. "What is it?" "It's a story," I said, "And the gift would be that you would read it for the rest of the family and me when we all get together for Christmas."  He agreed, on condition he might get the story ahead of time to practice. Life being busy, he didn't pick up the story ahead of time. But I had not forgotten, and on Boxing Day, when we all assembled to celebrate what was for some family members, "Christmas--version # 3, at Omi and Grandad's," I kept the bright-yellow-covered book with its coffee-stained pages near at hand


  It’s easy in these days of seclusion to wear the same clothes for days on end, for who will notice? But nature changes her dress daily! Today, the maple keys that were chartreuse tinged with cranberry just days ago are softer in colour: silk green and watermelon dusted with silver. Everything changes in a day. And the seasons are no exception. No fall, winter, spring or summer is quite the same as another in sensory experience. We can have such particular memories of one sultry summer etched into our consciousness, the colour palette of a specific fall; all purple, blue, orange and white, or the deep cold winter of 1947, for instance. We are richer for paying attention—noticing the clever folds of a forsythia flower and the delicate frill of an autumn olive blossom; admiring the work of One who delights in beauty for its own sake. Almost home on my morning walk, a young man in a black baseball cap, tank top and shorts, pushes a stroller towards me. A small vision of loveliness walk


It is May again. I love this month for hopeful buds and fruit-filled seed pods scattered on the edges of streets and some on the soil where they may find a place to take root. It feels like such a miracle, this annual victory of life over what seemed like death, so cold, determined and definite a closure. But life returns. Life is in birdsong and the spring of grass beneath my feet. How strong the life force in a blade of grass—and what weight they do uphold when mustered together. I walk and feel, see, smell, and hear evidence of the miracle of life. I give thanks for the beauty of planet earth –the blue dome above us, the warmth on my shoulders cloaked in sun rays. In my years of growing old, I am grateful for life-lived, even more, thankful for life now, with children grown, grandchildren, and a life partner who loves me and whom I love, after all our years together. These things are so precious, as are the many friendships that I treasure. Yet I know now not to cling to them. God g

Siblings Forever

"To the outside world, we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other's hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside a touch of time." - Clara Ortega. "We know one another's faults, virtues, catastrophes, mortifications, triumphs, rivalries, desires, and how long we can each hang by our hands to a bar. We have been banded together under pack codes and tribal laws." - Rose Macaulay.  A set of photos was taken on a summer's day long ago. They always make me smile and feel sorry for being such a meanie. Rob  was having so much fun until I came along!    We had our share of sibling rivalry growing up, but now it is rare for more than a few days to go by without calling the other, even though we have lived on different continents for so many years.  We can talk for an hour about the most menial details of our li

Saturday Morning

  I savour the tang of hot, strong, black coffee from one of my favourite mugs--the one that glows with the colours of a Tom Thomson painting. The scent of a spiced apple candle lingers. Classical music plays in the background to the strong, firm metronome of our treasured, oak-encased wall-clock; its swinging pendulum the heartbeat of our home.

The Price and the Prize

 Weeding disturbs the soil, and pruning opens up an area that will need to heal over--but without them, neither land nor tree is as fruitful as it can be. Therefore I am willing to endure discomfort--and more than that, I embrace it as necessary for growth in life and grace. I wrote these words about ten years ago and found them today, just when I needed them, as I flipped through an old journal. I don't love change. Its antonyms: stay, rest, remain--they attract me, not disruption--the price of change. Change is oxygen to some people's souls--not to mine.  But when I consider the prize--greater fruitfulness--my soul settles into peace, and I say, yes, weed--yes, prune, stir up my serene pond--even if I love it here. 

Christmas Amaryllis 2021

  From earth-bound bulb shoots life--sturdy, limber, vibrant and beautiful--flawless, yet fleeting and fragile. "See me and gaze awestruck," she seems to trumpet, a messenger, saying, "My purity and perfection is a glimpse, existing only for a moment. There is more than this world bound by time. In eternity there is no limit or decay to sully beauty or truth. Look at me, and see beyond ."