Friday, April 25, 2014

Reflections on the years that have gone and the ones yet to come

I remember being in BC in the Spring of 2003.
I remember the white phone I had,
cordless but not a cell; 
cell phones had not yet exploded in use...
I called Canadian Immigration and found that within
7 weeks I could be a Canadian citizen, 
as I was born of a Canadian mother.
That May I got my citizenship card,
what a Chinese student called the 
'Maple Card'
and we went out to Tim Hortons to celebrate.
Well, the January that I was dating Mr. Husband
I was flying back from NJ to Ottawa and 
my wallet did not come with me;
of course I reported it right away, when
I suddenly was in the taxi and realized my wallet was not in my purse.
He drove me back to the airport and I went right
to the airline to report it,
calling my bank first to cancel all my cards.
I never got the wallet back,
or the many things I had in it, 
including my Canadian citizenship card.
I am reapplying for the card;
the picture above is of the paper that came with the card,
that I was so thankful for finding today.
Mr. Husband has been pushing me to get this application done... 
So many memories...
when I was applying for my Canadian Citizenship;
I had no idea that within a year or so I would be Orthodox
or even going to an Orthodox church;
I had only been to one service in Lent on a Sunday
and it was in the middle of writing my BA Honours Thesis,
applying for citizenship and being burnt out with school for 
so many years.
I was reading this article today
and realized that I too am past that point of youth
where every option of life seems possible...
I still miss Canada a lot.
I miss my parish there and I miss Ottawa.
It's strange to go back to those 
dusty streets that I loved so much;
to realize the poverty of the downtown people again,
to see how run down Hartman's is,
to see that Herb and Spice changed their buildings,
restaurants that are closed, stores gone,
things never stay the same.
It's the memories of all I love that perhaps
are the hardest; the trees I would walk under,
the sense of space I often felt when in church;
the streets having lots of memories and of
connections and seeing people and
having conversations with the poor
or seeing the same store managers at Hartmans
or just walking down Bank Street or my favourite
Metcafe street;
the sunshine; the flowers; the OC Transpo buses;
the friends and good architecture.
But yet in all of that, 
there was this lack, this missing bit, of not having family.
Of Paschas where I would be back in 
my apartment happy but alone.
It's different now;
I do not have my Ottawa streets,
I don't have my Ukrainian family, my Romanian table,
I don't have the red roses
in my big Pascha basket to bring to church on 
Great and Holy Friday.
Though I did have some dear friends buy roses on my behalf this year,
to my great consolation:
{The roses are on the left in this picture}.
But I have so much new now.
I don't go back to an apartment alone but
am with Mr. Husband.
I have new Bright Week traditions and a husband,
whose happy laugh lights up my world;
I have a husband who delights in me.
I am still often so surprised by this.
I often have the feeling of growing up all over again;
of the realization that one can not go back to 
old places and have them be the same.
Things can still be good and new normals can be found,
but nothing stays the same ever.
Children grow up;
parents grow older...
My Mom is retiring next week from her work and 
my parents hope to come out and help 
Mr. Husband and I with our new home.
It is a time we will treasure.
All I can see is what I started learning in Ottawa:
we must be with God today.
God is the One who will always be with us.
We must be joyful and glad today because God is with us.
We must have hope for the times that we 
will be given that are difficult; hope that God can
get us through them, 
hope in Christ's Holy Pascha.
Right now I am in a time of all things new;
a bright season, when the house will be new,
the furniture to be arranged, some new pieces added
and new things to find out,
air to breath deep into lungs,
a life to be built.
But in all things,
it is God that I must turn to,
a God who is new but eternal,
a God who does not change,
who is ever shall be and was forever and ever.
A God whose love is not fixed on a star,
a God whose love never wavers, never changes,
never ends.

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