Stuff I Like Right Now

Restoration…Last week I had a bad week. I fought with my children, fought with my husband, and even fought with a stranger. I’ve mostly forgotten the details of the first two incidents, and our community is too small for me to publicly relate the third, but I will say this: each situation was looked after. There was enough care from all (or mostly all) parties to make something better out of the madness. Even though I loomed over my daughter to threaten her, talked to Stan in a way I regret, and let anger get the best of me with the stranger, none of these interactions were simply left to harden. We talked about what went wrong, we asked for forgiveness, and I emailed the stranger to let him know I was disappointed by our conversation and wanted to find some common ground. Relationships were restored. Or, at least in the case of the stranger, I will be able to look him in the eye the next time we meet. I realize again what a wonderful thing it is to wake up to a new day. To start fresh. I remember that I am not into bitterness and stale grudges, I am into restoration. Thankfully, our family life is incredibly fertile ground to grow in this practise. There are unending opportunities to try, try, try again, not for perfection but for restoration.

These two books… The Creative Call; An Artist’s response to the Way of the Spirit

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Anything you Want by Derek Sivers. The first book I’ve ever read on business. I didn’t agree with everything, but raced through it. Thanks Amber for the title!

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It’s a mosaic… On Saturday Stan’s co-worker (from Botswana) drops in for a quick visit. She tells us about leaving Africa and choosing to use her scholarship money to study in Saskatchewan, over anywhere else in the world. After she leaves we walk down the street to check on my friend Claritza (from the Dominican Republic). She still isn’t feeling well so we put her daughter in the stroller with Vivian and head to the City Square where we’ll be meeting Saron and Free (from Ethiopia) for the Santa Claus parade. While standing in line for some hot chocolate we run into Angelo (from Chile) and his wife Twila (who spent over a decade in Guatemala). The next week I will meet a new mother at our play group (from China) and another family (who just immigrated from Jamaica) at the library. Stan and I will go out on a date with our dear friends (from Iran) and few days later he will see his doctor (from Nigeria) whose daughter happens to be Susanna’s friend. All of this makes me very happy. What wealth! What richness! To think we can connect with these far-flung places in our small prairie town. We’ve always imagined we would someday move back overseas with our family to expose our children to the big beautiful world out there; it turns out we need only to walk down the street.

Smoked Paprika… I never knew we needed it until Stan bought some to make Chipotle sauce. It’s good in almost everything.

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Bush trees… This year we cut a Christmas tree down in some forest land (with a permit!) that was too close to another spruce to fully develop. It is the most bare, and yet the most elegant, tree we’ve had in a long time. Nothing beats a bush tree! The spaces between the branches are to Christmas trees what rests are to beautiful music.

Snow Day–What I don’t like is promoting it and trying to sell tickets. (Does this count?) I also don’t like worrying whether anyone else is interested in this kind of thing or if I might be wasting my time or the nagging fear of failure. What I do like is dreaming up the structure for another gathering and imagining what could happen when you throw good food, good snow, good space, good quiet, good creativity, good music and good people together. See Wonderscape Retreats for more details.

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Back yard skating rinksI back away and beckon Vivi to skate towards me, all on her own. She protests and starts to cry. And then, all of a sudden, the blade on her left skate starts moving in spite of herself. She pauses mid-cry and feels her other foot following. Tears rim her eyelids but now her wails are trilling upward until they become giggles. “Push and gide” she repeats after me while I chant instructions. She’s skating all by herself! She’s gliding on the ice, and though she doesn’t know how or why it’s turned her cries to laughter.

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Stan built a circular rink, the shape of our patio, for the girls to practice

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