Moments

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Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.

-John Milton

I love friendly chatter and happy clappy expressions of joy, but there is something about moments of reverence that are deeply profound. Reverence is like a little boat floating in time and space that requires us merely to stay, be still, and know.

 

Survivors and Guardians

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There is something about loss that creates greater value for that which survives.

When I went out for a drive with my camera yesterday I decided not to check out the areas devastated by forest fires last month. I decided to look for those precious places that survived.  One of those places is little Mineral Lake. According to the map the fire came very close, just beyond the hill there at the end of the lake, but the amazing fire fighters kept it at bay.

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There are signs along the rough road of the cost of preserving little known spots like this. A huge slash cuts through the forest and directions to staging areas still hang on trees.

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I remember meeting a group of fire fighters in the hospital emergency room. I was there because of annoying allergic reaction. They were there because one of their own looked like she had broken ribs from an altercation with heavy equipment. Soot streaked their faces, ash and mud crusted their clothes and they smelled like a cloud of smoke came into the building with them. But I loved them, the fighters, the preservers, the guardians.

I decided that one of the best ways to honour them would be to appreciate what they were fighting for. With a grateful heart I present photos I took yesterday at a little gem of a lake up a dirt road few people know about.

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Thank you.

 

All of Life Is a Pure Gift

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Gratitude goes beyond the ‘mine’ and ‘thine’ and claims the truth that all of life is a pure gift. In the past I always thought of gratitude as a spontaneous response to the awareness of gifts received, but now I realize that gratitude can also be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.

~Henri Nouwen

When Through the Woods…

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Frost sparkles on my neighbour’s roof this morning. Usually I sigh and complain about the first frosts that signal the end of summer. But this year I say thank you.

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It rained yesterday, a cold rain that makes you wish you had put on another layer before walking to the mailbox. But for this I am also thankful.

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This morning the skies are clear except for a thin line of dark smoke drifting north from the forest around the lake. I can see the snow on the mountains.

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The wildfires that prompted so many people in this province to flee their homes are starting to die down. The cooler temperatures and rain bring relief. They are moving back.

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I love this place, these woods, these mountains, these valleys. I know that fire is one way the forests are renewed, but I mourn for their loss. I mourn for the lost summer days spent inside hiding from the smoke.

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Somehow my appreciation for the areas that survived increases though. In the way antiques and ancient artifacts gain value merely by surviving,  the old growth forests become all the more precious to us.

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Today I am thankful, thankful for green things, for quiet forests with their deep mysteries, thankful for beauty which survived and beauty that will be restored.

forest green 3 DSC_0137 Thank you, Lord.

A Gift

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Sometimes you are out in the backyard taking photos of sweet peas and sheets on the clothesline just because the flowers smell wonderful and the warm sunlight and shifting shadows are interesting.

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And then a hummingbird hovers in front of your lens just long enough to snap a shot.

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Thank you, Lord. What a lovely gift.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

(James 1:17 NIV)

 

Silent Light

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“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.”

– William Barclay

It’s snowing again. Sometimes it feels like winter will never end.

And sometimes I step out into the street, feel the silent light falling and say, “Thank you, Lord. It’s beautiful.”

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