And they wrestled all night


My intention is to continue unpacking what I began yesterday, talk about it, bring it into the light, consider what it means, consider how being at this juncture is where I’m supposed to be.

Today I opened The Good Book, which led me to a commentary by Alexander MacLaren, and there I discovered his wonderful essay about Jacob wrestling with…a man…an angel…the divine presence…God!

Alexander Maclaren (February 11, 1826 – May 5, 1910) was an English non-conformist minister of Scottish origin. “Called the “prince of expositors,” Alexander MacLaren was a renowned preacher of the 19th and 20th century. [The published collection] Expositions of Holy Scripture brings together many of the sermons over his fifty years in ministry.”(https://www.ccel.org/ccel/maclaren)

Here are some highlights from MacLaren’s commentary on Genesis 32 :

So this failure of natural power is the turning-point in the twofold
wrestle, and marks as well as symbolises the transition in Jacob’s
life and character from reliance upon self and craft to reliance upon
his divine Antagonist become his Friend.

How interesting to land on this particular story, and these particular insights now. Spiritual formation study and practise have been part of my life for over ten years. My recent studies have led me to the teachings of Contemplative Christianity (Thomas Merton, Richard Rohr, Margaret Silf etc.) with distinctions between living from the false self vs the true self. I am beginning to understand my longing for authenticity and integrity, and my unique place as an artist/poet in the world. I have begun to look at The Enneagram as so much more than a diagnostic justification of identity, rather a starting point toward spiritual transformation, balance, and healing. These teachings are rich, impacting. I continue to sense the draw toward this way of being.

And yet, ironically, I find myself wrestling with certain fundamentals of faith…and perhaps wrestling is what is required of me to continue on The Way with God. Do I truly desire to be transformed? Do I?

Further highlights from MacLaren’s expository on Jacob’s encounter with God (bold text by me);

God desires to go, if we do not desire Him to stay. He will go, unless
we keep Him. Then, at last, Jacob betakes himself to his true weapons.
Then, at last, he strangely wishes to keep his apparent foe. He has
learned, in some dim fashion, whom he has been resisting, and the
blessedness of having Him for friend and companion.

The desire to retain God binds Him to us. All His struggling with us
has been aimed at evoking it, and all His fulness responds to it when
evoked. Prayer is power. It conquers God. We overcome Him when we
yield. When we are vanquished, we are victors. When the life of nature
is broken within us, then from conscious weakness springs the longing
which God cannot but satisfy.

And God prevails when we prevail. His aim in all the process of His
mercy has been but to overcome our heavy earthliness and selfishness,
which resists His pleading love. His victory is our yielding, and, in
that yielding, obtaining power with Him. He delights to be held by the
hand of faith, and ever gladly yields to the heart’s cry,’Abide with
me.’ ‘I will not let Thee go, except Thou bless me,’ is music to His
ear; and our saying so, in earnest, persistent clinging to Him, is His
victory as well as ours.

This is far from being tied up with a bow. I will continue to lean into what is revealed…in word, deed, circumstance, and the world around me. I don’t yet know what it means…this seeking and longing for…answers…peace…justice…love…God?

I continue to read and consider the the new name “Israel” that Jacob receives from God after morning comes and wrestling ends. I admit there is a teeny shift for me when I read MacLaren’s words;

To impose a name is the sign of authority, possession, insight into character. The change of name indicates a new epoch in a life, or a transformation of the inner man. The meaning of ‘Israel’ is ‘He (who) strives with God’; and the reason for its being conferred is more accurately given by the Revised Version, which translates, ‘For thou hast striven with God and with men,’ than in the Authorised rendering.’

A true Christian is an ‘Israel.’ His office is to wrestle with God.

jacobwrestlesgod

An encounter with the Divine…

Wrestling as worship, leading to transformation…

I wonder…

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Song of the season


As I consider the things I’m reading in a restorative book of spiritual practice, I’m drawn to walk more, notice more, seek the meaning hidden in more.

Today that meant a neighbourhood walk that drew me to a lake edge, and there, as I allowed the breeze to chill me and the sun to warm me, I noticed…leaves. Yes, it is fall. Yes, they were yellow against the lake stones and rather obvious. And yes, I was looking for colour somewhere in my subconscious. But there was more.

A memory stirred up of a piece I once wrote, and what led up to it when I found myself years ago, surrounded by leaves just like this one… and felt a love bestowed on me through thousands of heart shaped leaves…

DSC_0647.JPGThis morning it happened again, the heart shapes echoing love, but there was more. Because the leaves were in various stages of being themselves, still clinging to the tree, newly fallen to the ground, and in process of becoming humus…that sweet and necessary process of dying and decay…I considered more.

dsc_0658Some leaves were more transparent than the freshly fallen. Their veins stood out as sunshine backlit them and they were oddly beautiful too, edges cracked, parts missing, and glorious in transition from bud to leaf to something else entirely.

I thought of the seasons of my life, the desires I have to do something big, something that matters, and the words of my husband so lovingly meeting me there and saying, yes, of course you do, and one day you will go from this earth and people will forget who you were…and what you did. The truth in those words.

What if I never publish a book of poetry, what if I don’t do anything wonderfully lasting, what if…can I be OK in who I am in this place, in this season of mid-life and launches of young adult children, in the angst and questions and tension of being a spiritual being…and just be?

dsc_0646There is a loveliness in how the leaves lay on the beach stones, in the sunshine, in their season of glory, and what I notice now is how they hold, tentatively, for such a short time, water left over from yesterday’s rain.

Look, how the small droplets reflect the light. Look, how beautiful, how momentary, and for what greater purpose? Perhaps a bird will drink there. Perhaps the leaf will blow away and the water disperse into the ground? And the leaf will continue on in its process and final purpose of becoming earth itself.

Perhaps a woman, walking, will stop for a moment, take a photograph, and consider again what it means to be enough.

The practicality of metaphor


July, 2014, I buy several books of poetry in a Belfast booksmith, including “Selected Poems” by Belfast’s son John Hewitt. I pack the book into my luggage and take it with me on the next leg of my journey; a pilgrimage of sorts, a homecoming, and a mysterious gathering of strangers walking and tale telling and music-man healing and Guinness tasting, in Kilkeel and Cultra. The book remains packed for several days.

July 10, 2014, and I cozy in to a little Kilkeel cottage with my fellow pilgrims. I take note of the country walls about us, invisible lines of heft and pull and balance, boulders gathered from the fields and lifted into place, and the walls find their way into my psyche.

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Sunday July 13, 2014, we begin a time of silence and solitude, from 1 pm until the following day at 11:30 am. We are asked to choose a slip of paper or two with words ‘that serve.’ I choose a Thomas Merton quote, then find myself seeking out the Hewitt book of poetry and a phrase that sticks;

I am the green branch asking for the flower

John Hewitt, ‘The Green Shoot’

I take a walk, chewing on the words, repeating them over and over in my head. I walk along the county roads, bounded by country walls. Again the walls. I look. I listen. I return after a couple of hours and write;

The walls, always the walls, my eyes drawn equally to the spaces as much as to the weight of boulders. At first I think it is the wind they must build for, a feat of engineering with revelation built in. If they build and leave room enough for the wind to pass through, the walls will stand forever. But the more I look, the less I see of stone and more evidence of green invasion, seed and wayward bits of bracken carried by wind or wild beast finding cracks and crevices rich with possibility to root in, find purchase. And so a transformation takes place in the spaces, created hollow where light and rain and soil collect. The wall does what the wall does…encloses, defines, stands firm with unquestioned ownership. But is is also a catchment for transformative work, where green shoots take root and thrive, become saplings, become trees, where ferns and grasses fill margins, where moss softens hard surfaces and wild vines climb, and poke through. And slowly, the stones, displaced from the field and placed by hand, become unified by green…and then, small creatures build their homes, raise young, trust in the shelter of the green mass that is slowly enveloped by the earth.

I am the green shoot asking for the flower

I am the green shoot asking

I am the green

I am…

This line of this poem in this place for me becomes a prayer as I consider my life and my ask for the flower and a feeling that change is coming through the angst and doubt and struggle I find myself in. I believe in my purpose. I believe I ask God and he hears me. So many of the things I previously held true are dropping away, and yet the truth that I exist and I ask and God hears and gives good gifts remains. This God is close up. This is a new way of being. Can I dare ask this…yes, I can.

I am the green shooting asking for the flower

I chew on this for the entire time of solitude. I write and write and write. I cry. I sleep. I wake and write again. I have other encounters that impact my spirit in a deep way. I return to Kelowna. I live my life differently than before I left. I make difficult decisions. I withdraw from church. I have written of this before. The journey before Northern Ireland, and after.

TODAY: Thursday, May 26, 2016 I recall the line of the poem, almost two years past, and so much since then. The metaphor of the walls still speaks, but I return to this other metaphor of the green shoot and…suddenly I see flowers…maybe not the flower but maybe, just maybe there are more than just one?

How audacious flowers are, how heady and lovely and unnecessarily necessary to the life of the plant, or not? Why else do we green so, why else does the sap flow, if not to some glorious showing of what is happening in us, and the possibility that the flower comes before the fruit. I don’t know what it all means, but I know some things…

like this…

My part of messy belonging within the Metro Community, the gift of bearing witness and holding space for the beautiful broken ones on the streets and how they are just like me, has become vital and fragrant to me, like a flower

and like this…

a community awards nomination has been gifted to me, unexpectedly, and with humility and surprise I see it is also a flower, whether I win or not, I am opening to this possibility that who I am is who I am supposed to be

and like this…

that while there is so much I can no longer say for certain, and while some of my theology is deconstructed or rebuilt or may be forever lacking structure, I only need look at the glory of the natural world and all God’s creatures and at this incredible life I get to live, and my heart bursts open like a flower, the fragrance of gratitude

Back to the wall…and I have to wonder what it is about the wall that matters now, aside from the perspective of the green shoot and the flowering, I mean? And why must it mean anything at all, rather it is helpful for me to find meaning. I do think there is something to be considered in this wall, still something in the placement of the stones and the spaces, and still there is something about the shoots rooting in the spaces, finding a nurturing spot to grow and yes, to bloom.

What is the stone wall? I don’t know. Perhaps my core belief in God, or a foundational structure that is required to root in and cling to? Perhaps. Or the idea of inert stony places in our lives coming alive, assimilated into an ecology of plants and creatures and all living things connected when there is room enough to believe it so? I don’t know. I leave that to you to consider.

Many years ago my then very young son Malcolm told me there were messages in the winter trees that God wanted him to hear. What a gift that he knew that then.

And so, I wonder…

Lesley-Anne

I need a new language


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I’m beginning to struggle with words that have been part of my life for decades. Perhaps I’ve never questioned them before now, and their meaning goes deeper than surface, as all words do, so maybe it’s the superficial implications of the words that I’m having trouble with. Maybe it’s the perceptions of others, or my perception of what others think? There are most certainly societal considerations,  and what is read widely in the media as the implied wide acceptance of meaning. There are prejudices and notions around all these words: Christian, Evangelical, Fundamental, and heaven and hell and love and the bible and God and Jesus. So many volatile emotions and ideas surrounding my old language of faith/theology/religion. So I wonder, how do I make peace with this? Is it even possible?

In any case, I’m believe I’m on a journey to find new way of describing who I am, a new language. I’m seeking to live a life of integrity where I really mean what I really say and it’s the clear truth of how I live. That means I need to know who I am and what I truly believe, and it’s not that easy. My experience of life at this point is there is always a tension, that I live in the angst of not knowing, yet wanting to believe and with some doubt, believing.

And I wonder why it’s so important to me. Why do I fight tooth and nail to identify myself in a unique way separate from another. To use certain words? Why do I turn my nose up at lingo and yet most certainly speak my own dialect that must be obvious to others. Does this language make me who I am? Or am I who I am, struggling to put words to it? Is it any wonder this would be my struggle as a poet, to find my own words and my own voice to describe my own experience of being human? Why does it matter so? Why? Am I alone in this? How everything somehow matters?

We are looking at Charles Darwin’s writings right now. I’m at Okanagan College part time taking a survey of British Literature from Anglo Saxon to modern. Poetry. Foundations. So I’m surprised at Darwin showing up and it sends me seeking what it outside the black and white of creation vs. evolution, the dichotomy that separates and alienates. I’m looking for the more. The both and.

And I find it. Thanks to my son and his teacher and a book called, “I love Jesus and I accept Evolution,” by Denis O. Lamoureux. I have not read much of the book yet, but inside it is a nifty chart that sets out five unique positions (of many) that one could take on this subject of origin of species. At first glance I can say I am leaning toward the reasonable positions of Progressive Creationism or Evolutionary Creationism. I don’t know… but if I am to choose a position, I will in fact, be placing myself in a camp of thought, a place I seem to be rebelling against in most areas of my life. Again, why?

I was out at a community arts event the other day and we went around the room making introductions. I introduced myself as a, “Recovering Evangelical Christian.” With this caveat, “I’m a follower of Jesus and trying to sort out what that means for me.” I felt some remorse at saying it, yet it is the truth of who I am. At my age I have experienced a lions share of fundamentalism and evangelicalism, and only a wee bit of what could be described as faith freedom. And I am drawn to the freedom of loving God and Jesus in outside my box ways. I’m drawn to the mystery of not knowing rather than the absolutes I’ve been taught since a little child. Because my experience is becoming more and more about what I do not know. Less and less about answers.

You may think me hypocritical because I often attend a community church that would call itself Evangelical Christian. I go for reasons of family relationships and a hunger for community and a heart of service and a desire to learn. And at times I feel like I fit. I  truly love and respect the many men and women who are part of that faith community and call themselves EC, and are OK doing so, but I’m not certain I can anymore. I just don’t know. I feel marginalized but I know I am choosing this place. I’ve always struggled with living outside the perceptions of approved lifestyle, and it’s not the first time I’ve chosen apart because I don’t feel I am the best ambassador for what I’m not entirely sure of myself.

I’ve been reading books like, “My Faith So Far,” by Patton Dodd, and “Skin Boat,” by John Terpstra, and my bible, and watching and listening to what my heart says when I participate in meaning filled liturgical practices such as Lectio Divina, and sitting with God in nature and writing poetry and writing prayers. There is so much I do not know, so much to learn. At my age and in some ways still a babe in arms.

I’m taking a risk sharing this with you now, but it’s part of the integrity of living open and real. I have no answers, have not arrived at any clear direction, but I am willing to keep walking on believing God wastes nothing and in time, something may become clear.

Journeying… studying the bits found by the side of the road, the beauty of the cast off things, wondering how God might up-cycle me.

Lesley-Anne, SDG

All I want for Christmas…


I’m not usually one for Christmas lists, I seldom ask for specific gifts. Come Christmas morning I will feel quite uncomfortable with all eyes on me. I feel some pressure for an appropriate joyful, grateful response, and wanting my family to know how much they mean to me apart from what they give, but also how much I appreciate their efforts and love to me in their gifts. I’m not gifty. Perhaps I’m complicated content.

My grandmother used to say, “just a hanky,” when we asked her what she would like for her birthday or for Christmas. It seemed such a little thing, a hanky, yet I know how you reach a point (or maybe you were always there) where material things don’t mean much.

So, as I was thinking about what I’d really like for Christmas, it’s about the intangibles of relationships and social constructs that are most meaningful to me… the HOW we LIVE with one another. It comes down to the acceptance of who YOU are and who I am, and finding a way of doing life together that brings meaning and joy to both of us. I want for us to KNOW each other, to love each other all the more for knowing how imperfect yet wonderful we are.

So I am going to disclose some personal things to you with the real hope of acceptance and continued relationship. Forgive me if I’ve been less than forthcoming previously.

So here goes;DSC_0301

1. I believe in God, Jesus, and the Bible. I am a simple woman, simply trying to follow Jesus and infuse all areas of my life with God’s love. I celebrate Christmas because of what I believe. If you want to hear my story, I have one to share.

2. I live in a constant tension of faith mixed with doubt. I do not have many answers, and I’m becoming more comfortable with saying, “I don’t know.” It’s not about convincing, arguing, debating, although there are those who are very good at apologetics, I am not. I believe my life is becoming what it is because of God and me doing life together. It just is, and most days I believe it to be true.

3. I’m uncomfortable with organized Church. I regularly push myself to participate, serve, contribute to my local church, and for a time I feel real belonging, but I often also feel like a square peg in a round hole. I have been, and perhaps always will be, a dweller of margins.

4. I am imperfect. I say stupid things, forget birthdays, don’t return your calls or texts. I talk negative and overly-serious and deep when you want light and fun. I hide from people. I spend too much time on Facebook. I fight with my husband and my try to control my kids. I hate cleaning my house. I’d rather write or read. I’m unfriendly to some of my neighbours, and don’t speak to one. I’ve ignored you. I’ve broken promises. I am horrible at baking, but love getting praise for my cooking. I love getting praise for anything I do, but feel guilty for loving it too much. I want to do things for God, but feel I’m probably doing things for me a lot of the time. I run from conflict. I have strong opinions. I talk too much. There’s more.

5. I struggle with anxiety and depression. I have not been diagnosed with clinical depression, and I am sensitive to those who have been and how much worse they must feel compared to me. However I wonder sometimes if it would be best for everyone (my family especially) for me to spend a little time in a hospital and get myself somewhat re-tooled. If this is even possible. Often my depression lines up with SADD (several months of cloud and no sunshine in the Okanagan), menopause (sleeplessness, hot flashes, irritability etc.), and a predisposition towards introspection and time alone. I wonder how #1, #2, and #3 line up with this point. I have noticed that being more involved with projects around creative expression and things outside the world of being a stay-at-home manager of my family, helps my mental balance. I have noticed that happiness and joy are two different things.

6. I love to create, and I love to see others find their creative spirit and create. I believe passionately in how much better we all are when we find what we are meant to do, what we were created to do, and then go do it. I love to connect with others and encourage them to be their best.  I love to see the ripple effects of love, joy, and healing go out from the heart of each creative spirit into the hearts of others.

7. I want to be part of a bigger picture of creative expression. I am keeping my eyes, ears and heart open to what is next for me as part of the greater creative collective. I am considering how I may pour myself into realizing a new dream around words, writing, giving and growing.

8. I intend to continue to sign “SDG ~ Soli Deo Gloria,” to my work, and attribute thanks to God for what he allows, facilitates and carries out through my one life. I continue to desire and ask for integrity in this.

Thank you for reading this. Thank you for your open heart. This has truly been a gift to me to be able to write to you, share things at Buddy Breathing for a long time now.

I look forward to what life holds for us in 2014 and hope you write and tell me what you are up to, what you are learning.

May you be blessed with a renewed spirit of deep joy and gratitude for who you are, and the gifts you have been so rightly given.

With my love, SDG,

Lesley-Anne

Post Christmas Random Ramble


I am so thankful for all of you. Those who drop by Buddy Breathing and stay a while, those who offer something in response to my writing, those who are regulars. This place has become a touchstone for me, somewhere to share my ideas and rants, even the messy stuff off the top of my brain that needs to come out! And knowing you are ‘out there’ makes it all the more worthwhile. So, thanks for listening.

I wish each one of you a Merry Christmas, and for the New Year may you continue to find people in your life with whom you can ‘buddy breathe’… share oxygen… fresh air… with one another. Breath deep!

Sol deo gloria,

Lesley-Anne

Things to remember for next year;

1. Absolutely, positively, (if at all possible), join in the experience of a Christmas Eve Service… VOLUNTEER…sing, usher, act, organize… whatever… just get involved! There’s a feeling of ‘bigger’ that accompanies this… not so much about having my house in order, my gifts wrapped, my cookies baked… more about preparing for others to experience the message of Christmas… Emmanuel, God with us! And if you absolutely, positively, can’t help out, then please… attend a Christmas Eve Service somewhere! Stop, consider, breathe, pray, believe in the miracle of Christmas personally.

2. Get up early… the long day was wonderful. Sure Bob and I were a little tired at first, but nothing a coffee or two with a drop of Baileys can’t help. By afternoon we were able to rest, read, relax and listen to the sounds of our kids chilling. Even the dog was happy to nap on the couch beside us. Yes, as my Dad always said, “The morning is the best time of day.” Mind you, I’m talking 7:30 AM, which probably sounds like sleeping in to those of you with teeny tiny excited kids! There are definitely some advantages to having teens!

3. Buy less. Every year it’s the same feeling… I intentionally try to buy less. I think I’ve put a lid on the excess and then I see all the presents under the tree… worse still, all the wrapping around the living room after we have finished opening up the gifts and I feel… a little nauseous. For those who say set a budget… sure, that’s fine if the bottom line is ‘value’ of what has been purchased… but I’m talking pure amount of ‘stuff’ that now needs to be put away and absorbed into our already abundant life. I mean… come on!

4.Write more Christmas cards. I enjoy writing. I love getting mail. Perhaps others feel the same? Sure I hand delivered some cards this year, but next year I’d like to mail them out early in December, perhaps tuck in a photo or two, and bless others with something they can hold in their hands. Of course email is good, and Facebook is a great way to share a greeting… but, still, the handwritten paper in hand kind of greeting is much more personal… don’t you think?

5. NEVER, EVER, EVER, cancel the caroling party again. No matter the number of folk who can’t make it, no matter if no musical accompaniment is available, no matter how easy it is to just say, “Oh well, we’ll try again next year!” DO NOT DO THIS! Even though I delivered a basket of cookies to the seniors in place of our melodious voices, still I missed sharing a meaningful evening with them. I missed our home being full of friends afterward, playing party games, sharing stories and treats, I missed the stress of ‘managing’ the crowd as we walked around the neighbourhood to sing, and I even missed the angst over whether the coffee would be ready in time, or the food enough for everyone. All of it. Mostly I missed the feeling of contentment and pure joy as we gathered to sing carols like ‘Silent Night‘ and ‘Joy to the World‘, our voices softened by the cold night air, snow gently falling as we gathered at someone’s doorway and met the smiles on their welcoming faces.

6. Let the dog chew the wrapping paper. Emmy was so good. Sure she sniffed every package, and she certainly tried to steal various presents right under our noses, but mostly she was really good. Claire wrapped a bone in paper and let her rip it open. I think Emmy enjoyed the paper as much as the bone! Not that she ‘ate’ it, but the sound it made, and the process of tearing it off the bone… I could almost swear she was smiling! We only put her in her kennel for a short time, but that was simply because we should have taken her for a walk earlier… she was a bit stir crazy by mid afternoon… yikes, earlier than 7:30 AM? Which takes me back to item #2!

7. NEVER STOP reminding myself what this season is really all about. Never stop posting reminders on Facebook, or reading the Christmas Story in Luke, or the prophecies of our Saviour in Isaiah. Never stop reflecting on the miracles found in the story, how the angels came to earth as messengers, how the shepherds found everything ‘exactly’ as they had been told, how a virgin conceived and bore a child… the son of God, how God came… in the form of a teeny tiny baby, to earth, and that’s just the beginning of the story! And most of all, how God IS with us… in each experience of who he is, every tiny little way that he shows himself to us, in creation, in music, in people. How God is here, and in the most intimate way possible, desires to be part of each of our lives.

8.Never stop sharing my story. May my life be an open book to who God is, and what he has done and is doing in my life. May I be bold, honest, transparent, reverent. May my life be filled with opportunities for God’s story to shine through me.

9. In the words, and expressed in the life, of my Uncle Dr. David James Cook, who passed away this Spring at the age of 71,

“LATHER LOVE LAVISHLY”…

on your family, your friends, your neighbours, those you meet every day…

because you never know. Time passes by so quickly, kids grow up, friends move, parents pass away…

Make the most of EVERY moment.

I miss you Uncle Dave. I miss you Art. I miss you Buddy.

Peace.


A craving worth feeding…


It always takes time, it always feels slightly self-indulgent, yet I feel it is always necessary. While we might somehow hold to the idea that life is mostly about joy and activity and community and passion and purpose and moving forward, it is also about taking the time to to embrace loss and sadness, and to choose the place of silence and solitude for a time. As the good book says, there’s a time for everything under the sun.

I would like to suggest that without fully engaging in the difficult and sometimes awkward practice of inward focus, we might be living a life that is skimming the surface, and missing the deeper things that make life meaningful.

Now I readily accept the differences of personality types, the predisposed bent of the sanguine vs. the melancholy. But what I’m talking about is not that, rather it’s about choosing to slow down, unplug, disengage from regular life, to discover who you really are on the inside, and what your place is in this world.

I’m sure you’ve all experienced what it’s like to be on vacation and feel (around the third day) the release that comes from stepping off the tread mill of life. If you are a parent, just being away for the weekend with your spouse is exhilarating, as suddenly there is no child based conflict, no set meal times, no reason to not stay in bed late. Even if you are on a family vacation, there’s a freedom that comes from an open schedule and room for each other (especially if you leave the electronics at home). Or, you may have experienced a particularly lovely Sunday afternoon, where you are outside digging in the garden, and you suddenly become aware of birds singing and a feeling of peace overtakes you?

Our souls crave this type of time ‘apart’. Whether it’s for introspection or prayer, for remembrance, to work through feelings of anger or grief or forgiveness, to re-establish our purpose, or to fire up our passion again, a healthy part of living an active productive life is to honour our inner life too. And that takes time and consistency, and courage.

In the Jewish tradition, this practice is called Sabbath rest. In the Christian community, it takes the form of solitude or silence for the purposes of making space for God. For you it might be a hike in the woods, or a walk along a beach, or to journal your thoughts and prayers. Or, it could be something else. Like listening to a story on the radio.

I was listening to ‘Vinyl Cafe’ on my way home from dropping off the kids today, and it occurred to me that this particular story illustrates my point very well. So, if you have 23:03 minutes on this Sunday afternoon, I hope you can listen in. Usually Stewart McLean is very funny… this time, well, he is not. It’s a poignant story about slowing down, remembering, listening, and honour.

It’s called, ‘Remembrance Day’.

(I’m sorry to say, that until I can work through the technology to share ‘Remembrance Day’ with you here, I will have to ask you to google it, or visit your local library or book/music store. It’s available in a collection of stories called ‘The Vinyl Cafe – Storyland’.)

Peace, out.

Lesley-Anne