Monday, December 09, 2013

As to this cold Monday morning

This past week
was one that we were a bit out of sorts.
The kitchen never got fully cleaned,
we were tired,
our lists of things to do looming heavily,
I found myself with the normal let down of leaving
my family in MI and found myself also
thinking more of my life in Ottawa that I loved so much.
I feel it esp. this time of year,
the traditions we had there,
the funny Christmas stories, the Holy Supper,
the walks to church in the snow, the beautiful white snow,
the hot cups of tea, friends over for soup
or going to one of the local Chinese restaurants
near church.
The grocery store with it's broken
parking garage, the lights on the street walking home,
the crazy neighbours I had in the apartment
with no sound proofing,
the poor on the streets, the sense that I was
part of it there, down where the poor were,
the struggling, the bundled people on buses,
the lost admist the employed with their sleek
dress and purses.
The two bakeries, Bridgehead Coffee shops,
the nice Deli near by with fruits, vegetables, really good
potato chips, great cloth bags, chocolate,
organic eggs and milk.
The fox and feather that had good battered, fried fish and chips,
sweet potato fries with a cranberry mayo and
plum sauce when one got chicken strips.
The entrance to church,
the sense of prayer and beauty...
the two women I would pray with,
the talks of theology,
the living of life together in the struggle of it.
Yes, I was missing all this.
And St. Nicholas Day is coming.
My church there has a talent show, a fish dinner,
St. Nicholas comes and gives the children
a present, I made my chocolate cakes.
I sit at my beloved 'Romanian table' with friends
who can speak Romanian, English, French, Russian...
The men talk about politics, the Germans and Romanian happenings,
the women talk about their concerns, their children,
the things they are hoping for or doing for course work,
or teaching in classes...
What a beautiful life I had there!
Sometimes it is good to remember it...
oh those many walks to church,
how I miss those.
Now I am in a new life,
a married life,
one that I am thankful for,
building slowly.
Here's some things on this morning that
I am so thankful for.

You know I have the best husband for me.
Yep. Mr. Husband blew all of my
expectations out of the water.
My list of what I needed to even consider dating someone,
he exceeded.
He is a gift from God and I will always believe
also from St. Nicholas.
The picture above is a little note he wrote
me this morning.
He is a man of diligence and discipline
and one of the things he does before he leaves for work
is leave me a note.
I know.
I am most blessed.

The bowl on the right got chipped and thankfully
it was a big chip and the chip did not break
so I was able to glue it back.
One the left is the pile of cards I hope
to do today and mail.

I am putting together some things to mail out
to various places.
Just thought you should know that my table too
is not always brilliantly clean or clear.

I am loving my Christmas coffee table.

I love my Cleo cat.

Last week I made a list of the next month
and what I need to do each day.
This week is going to be, God willing,
Christmas cards, knitting and baking,
with errands, laundry and maybe ironing thrown in.
Next week is going to be busy with
St. Barbara and St. Nicholas Day/s.

This is from my childhood,
my Aunt H. gave it to me and I of course being
a saver of anything that is special to me,
saved this for many years.
Now Mr. Husband is writing notes to me with it
and of course, I have saved all the notes... :)

Mr. Husband had Christmas tapes
that we are listening to.

I got some Christmas CDs from the library.
I have a very cute cat.
It is colder again here; I am so glad for this week.
We were able to clean the kitchen last night,
Mr. Husband doing much of it
while I read Fr. Arseny out loud.
We both do better when we get a bit of spiritual reading
that I read out loud in at night.
It calms us and I always feel a bit more inwardly cleared
Well, much to do today.
I am almost done with my slow re-read of
Kathleen Norris' Cloister Walk
and it continues to be something that helps me with perspective
on things and often is very sustaining.
I got this book on Elder Porphyrios
Elder Porphyrios Testimonies and Experiences...
I ordered it on his First Saint's Day
and it is so comforting.
I strongly recommend it
and thank Elizabeth for letting me know about it...
I read two pages in a homily* by
St. Gregory Palamas and it was so
beautiful, spoke the Gospel to me in such a real way,
it was like I was reading something that
was made of a clear comforting beautiful light.
It was from this book that is currently
out of print but scheduled for reprinting.
I was blessed to pick up a copy at the Greek Monastery
I went to earlier this fall.
I have been walking around every since
and the memory of reading these words that
explained Christ and how deeply we need Him
so beautifully,
I kept wishing I could photocopy those two pages
and mail them to dozens of people!
Sometimes we go through real periods of
discouragement for one reason or another
or even just an awareness of how
lacking we are in the spiritual life
and when God in His mercy scatters
such beautiful words in our lives,
such saving words,
it is a deep and real gift to us.
Wishing each of you a week where
we can move towards God
who we are seeking,
even when we forget or are somehow
inured to the fact that it is He we wish for
and God's mercy will be rich towards us,
as He is so good and loves mankind.

*the Homily was the first part of the first to two homilies
I am slowly reading this homily and can not begin to express
how wonderful it is.


E Helena E said...

Reading this, I feel as though I'm right there! Am really looking forward to reading Kathleen Norris' book over the holidays. AND, DV, I will be at the St. Nicholas liturgy and celebration on Sunday. Will be thinking of you with love.

Lisa said...

I also like "The Cloister Walk" - haven't read it in a long time. I will remember your father-in-law in my prayers.