Somewhere there’s a forest fire. A little deer has lost its home. The familiar tree where a little squirrel hides his nuts has gone up in flames. A pretty wildflower who worked so hard to unfurl its leaves towards the sun is withered and scorched. The smoke rises in dark clouds over a landscape that once held life and serenity to so many creeping things. A bolt of unfortunate lightning. A cigarette butt. A too bright ray of sun on a piece of errant glass. And a landscape is changed forever.
Slowly life will be restored, but it will be different than it was. For a while, there will be nothing appealing to the eye. But to the ants first, there will be signs. Signs of Restoration. A little blade of grass. A small fir tree will sprout. A brave little wildflower will birth its lime green head through the parched earth.
Not having lemonade in this house is akin to a crime being committed. I awoke last night at around 130 and am desperately thirsty for some of that wonderful summer time elixir. So i threw on my satin cargoes, a chunky knit sweater and flip flops. Opening my front door and stepping onto my verandah, the delightful summer night air made my heart so happy. The street so quiet and had an air of gentleness to it. I love my happy city. The dash board lights and the hum of the engine starting was kinda exciting at this hour. I made my way to the McDonalds down the street where the sweetest filipino lady sounded like she was living her dream as she took my order. I love non complainers. I decided on a mango smoothie and I decided to not go home.
I meandered the downtown core, along with the street sweepers and the commercial cleaning companies. The marble foyers of the sky scrapers gleamed in the incandesent light. The gleaming and beautifully designed security desks so architecturally perfect. The furniture in the foyers so classically modern. I felt like I was driving through a movie set. Where the characters are all still in their trailers. Like a pretend land of dreams.
Calgary is a land of dreams. I’ve come to adore my city. So clean and safe. Truly a city of promise and one where with hard work and dedication, even the wildest dreams are achieved.
Last night, the city of the Wild West was quiet and serene. Finishing the last sip of my smoothie I pulled into my drive and felt so full of gratitude for our lovely city. And climbed back into my bed, nestled in the heart of my gentle city. Happy and content.
Who is Looking in the Mirror at the End of a Day? A Human with Vulnerabilities. All over the world, you will find the majority of people standing before a mirror at the end of a day. Foam from their toothbrushes pressing the corners of their mouths.
CEO’s. Executive of This and That. Construction Workers. Mailmen. The Jobless.
Various Pyjamas or Lack Thereof. Through Common Ritual, we realize we are in a Common Experience.
Can we Just Stand Toe to Toe for a Moment?
The Executive of This and That Company is Scared Too. Just as The Jobless.
The Uncertainty of Life hangs in the Balance for them too. Inside an executive’s custom suited chest is a Time Ticker. At any Moment, things can Come to a Close. A Common Experience is Uncertainty. CEO’s go to bed on the Hope of Another Day. That the Sun will be on their face Tomorrow, the Wind on their Back. Just like the Jobless One on their Plastic Cot under the Charity Blanket at the Mustard Seed. Hoping against Hope. Why do we Feel Titles and Bank Accounts and the Trappings of Life make us Less Vulnerable to Fears and Uncertainty? It Doesn’t. Look at the Statistics.
Alcoholism and Suicide is Rampant too in the Upper Crust .
There’s the Common Experience of Hunger. In its Myriad Forms.
Hunger for Love. Support. Kindness. Warmth.
Everyone has this Common Need. At our Core, is a Common Longing to be Understood, Accepted and Adored. It’s an Ache in the Chest when it’s Denied. A wonderful Satiation fills the Soul when it’s Enjoyed. A Washington Lobbyist in their Office with Marble Floors and Sky High Views and the Parolee in the Garbage Strewn Graffiti Adorned Alley behind the Lobbyists’ Office are Equally Needy and Vulnerable to this Common Experience of Hunger.
Our Needs are Basic. Common. We are all Vulnerable.
No Bank Account, Title, Education can make us Less Vulnerable to These Things. We all Rely on Sovereign Grace. For Granting us Time and Opportunity. We Also Desperately need Grace from Each Other. From Humanity. I Pray we can Show Grace to Each Other.
Kindness. Love. Warmth. Support.
Without it, Society Crumbles. For it isn’t Strength of the Economy. Has nothing to do with Bears and Bulls in New York. Harvard can’t Teach It. The Greatest Good to our Fragile World is Grace.
Let’s Give Grace to Each Other. We’re all in This Together.
I Have Mine. If I just look over your shoulder and copy your answers, I will Surely Fail. My Exam is Tailor Made to the Lessons I’ve Been Learning. After all, My Life Courses were Different. Module One started Different than Yours. I can Guarantee you, my Last Few Modules were different too. Oh Yes, and the ones In Between. So, Your Answers for Your Life are Different from Mine. What works for you won’t necessarily work for me. As much as we are In This Together, we are facing that exam paper Alone. We each have the Master Teacher. He’s tirelessly prepared us for each test. Given us Perfect Counsel. Shown us where and how to Find Success. Not to Just Succeed, but to Flourish and Excel.
Since we ultimately can’t Take Advice from each other, I can Take Courage from your Dedication. Your Humility to Listen to the Teacher. Your Faithfulness to Show Up To Class every day. Basic Class Rules are the Same. Kindness. Love. Forgiveness. Humility. These I’m Inspired to see my classmates Adhere To and Love.
I’m kinda glad it’s just My Paper. To my Teacher, I Pass or Fail. For this, I can Love my Classmates and Remain Autonomous at the Same Time. It’s the Ultimate Freedom.
Every morning Charlie and I hit the Stairs. It’s a beautiful ravine behind my house.
We’ve met the Regulars. Well, we’ve become the Regulars. I come to anticipate the breathless good mornings, the quickly uttered encouragement as we pass each other on the various ups and downs. There’s the Trip Step, we call it. Invariably someone catches their runner on the nail protruding on Step Fifteen. We all say in various sentences and with varying degrees of embarrassment and humour “We gotta bring a hammer…! Next Time!” There’s the little rocks left at the top in Piles of Ten. People sporting them in their pockets like peanuts in the mouth of squirrels. All bumpy and protruding out of their lycra gear. Loving the ritual of placing Another One at the top. A Victory Stone.
One man in particular is a unique Stair Person. He’s someone you see at every beach. He’s the guy who you admire and are a little incredulous of. He has mastered the art of “Doing You”. He’s shirtless and shoeless. He does his yoga and push ups on the first platform. Charlie and I have to wait behind him both breathless and panting as he finishes his pushups. Every time he says “Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t see you there.” Hmmm…pretty sure you did, my friend.
The Stairs wouldn’t be the Same without him. He’s a Little Extra for sure. But he adds Flavour. He gives me a chuckle. He also lets me fly my Freak Flag a little More Wildly too. Life is boring if the Only People we have around us are Vanilla Flavoured.