Crystal clear
|

Crystal clear

A lead crystal vase graces the shelf of our old hutch. I hold it, feeling its familiar weightiness. My finger traces the fluted rim until it catches on a jagged point and I’m transported back to my childhood. I was very young, but the event is engraved as deeply in my memory as the design…

High hopes
|

High hopes

A kid in a candy shop – there I stood in front of the rack of flower seeds. Any of them would look spectacular in my garden. Decisions, decisions. But really there was no contest – sunflowers were the obvious choice. Tall. Tenacious. Irresistibly cheerful. They would stand rustically elegant in front of the cedar…

A joyful melancholy
|

A joyful melancholy

As I’m writing, it’s late summer – the season for Niagara peaches, sweet corn and sun ripened tomatoes. Nature’s bounty flows from the generous hand of its Creator. Turning the calendar to August used to send a shiver of delight through my childish heart. After all, there were still weeks of summer vacation left, back-to-school…

Tell me a story
|

Tell me a story

Stories were an integral part of my childhood. Both of my parents were talented storytellers with no shortage of interesting material: a childhood in pre-war Germany, life through WWII and immigration to Canada. Their stories were often highly entertaining, featuring family characters, historical events and important life lessons. Thanks to their diligence as raconteurs of…

Bad habits die hard

Bad habits die hard

Lent affords a marvelous opportunity for self-examination. Honest soul-searching never fails to amplify the wonder of God’s mercy. Rather than give up some small indulgence for Lent this year, I thought, why not focus on one of my bad habits? (There’s no shortage.) For instance, I’m a little edgy these days. Pandemic fatigue probably has…

Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum
| |

Pa-rum-pa-pum-pum

It was an annual tradition back in my days at College Street Public School. Every Friday morning from mid-November until Christmas break, the whole school – grades one through eight – crammed into a makeshift auditorium. We had no gym back then, only two adjacent classrooms with a removable wall between them. Chairs and desks…

Weather or not
|

Weather or not

Had King David lived in Ontario, I think a September day might well have inspired him to write Psalm 19. You know the sort – where the sapphire sky beckons your gaze irresistibly upward and your heart craves something more. It’s nothing less than a glimpse of the eternal. The breeze is like a heavenly…