There was a sign on the window stating the cathedral was closed that morning for trimming, but the man sold us tickets anyway. There would still be plenty to see, he said. Just follow the path and enjoy.
Last September, I bought my first smartphone. The next day, I flew home to Ottawa because my father had been moved into a hospice and the doctors said he wouldn’t have long.
Summer. Slower pace and open days. Sunshine, if we’re lucky, and some fine warm weather. A few days ago, I was biking through the park and a fellow cyclist shouted out to me, “these are the days we’ve earned!”
Ten years ago, the Spouse and I drove across Canada with our two small children. You might even say our too-small children. Blue was not yet two years old and Beangirl was only approaching her fourth birthday.
I spent one day last week tidying our bookshelves because they needed it. They were a jumbly, unstable mess of books and papers, everything balanced horizontally and pushed in the wrong spaces. The poetry shelf threatened to collapse. The travel books had found their far-flung ways everywhere, appropriately enough, and the novels were on the march.
My kids had a week off from school earlier this month, and we decided to visit Stonehenge. The bigger kids and I had been to the stone circle before, but we hadn’t explored the wider area, and the Spouse and the youngest hadn’t been there at all, so it seemed like a good educational trip. Something old, something new.
When I write my column The Messy Table, I focus on identifying and shaping spirituality within my family. That was also the subject of “The Spiritually Vibrant Household,” a Barna Group webcast last month in which they introduced their new study, Households of Faith. Their aim was to share new research on the rituals and relationships that turn a home into a sacred space, asking the question: what does a spiritually vibrant household look like today?
When friends of ours moved several years ago, they gave us a tall stack of books. These were obviously loved books – underlined and annotated – so I suspect space was the determining factor. Or maybe moving was just an excuse to disperse cherished works amongst interested friends.
LONG STRIDES MEAN SHE is angry, but I’m not sure who is to blame. She’s also scared and that one is easier. She always worries about him, especially when she hasn’t seen him in a while. I can hear her muttering under her breath. Enough is enough. He needs to come home.
About six months ago, I joined a writers’ workshop. Though I’ve been writing for years, I haven’t been plugged into a committed local writing community since university. Writing has been my quiet work, my solitary sport, and my own way of trying to make the world make sense. But wheels turn and, with last year’s publication of my collection of short fiction and my upcoming novel this spring, I felt like I needed to settle in and make some writerly friends.
He’s a lovely man, a right man of God. Righteous and devout. No one know how old he is, just that he had always been here in Jerusalem. As old as the hills, he says with a twinkle. Or as old as his tongue and a little older than his teeth. He knows how to make us laugh.
Last week, I poked around a museum that I used to know well. When I lived nearby, I would drop in regularly, but it has been a while and it was nice to be back. I visited my old familiar favourites and enjoyed exploring the recently renovated galleries, but most memorable was a large wool tapestry of a snowy landscape. It hung on a pale stone wall in an empty internal courtyard, looking like a wintry window opening on a snowy field. A large, leafless tree occupied the centre of the woven image, its bare branches reaching in all directions. Fence lines cross the field and a figure hunches against the cold, but walks with purpose. It looked almost photorealistic, and perfectly composed – the balance between the dark bark, the figure and the openness of snow and sky. An evocative image of early winter.