Featuring Joy & Geoff, Big Brother , Little Brother , Sis , and various household (and outdoor) critters...

Friday, 25 March 2011

The Land of Eternal Snow (and a mini-sermon)

Ah, Spring! At last...

Warmer temperatures, and the first signs of...
Oh wait - I can't quite see out there - my vision has gone foggy and white.
Horror of horrors, I am going blind.

What's that you say?
Snow. Right. All is well.

It is, indeed, Spring. For a couple of days, actually, there was bare earth and grass, and plenty of mud to go around. I have been out a couple of times without a coat, and there are crocus tips nudging their way up and out. So, the season is slowly, begrudgingly, changing.

Since I can do nothing - no, truly nothing - about the snow, I generally make an effort to remain on good terms with it. I enjoy the photo opportunities it provides (and the temporary reduction in mud travelling into my house - floors, rugs, stairs, furniture, me). The degree of snow-related angst folks express seems self-imposed, to a point. To be perfectly honest, the cultural acceptability of complaining about weather and other inconveniences troubles me. I think that attitude can become pervasive, and can also become a standard way of relating to our circumstances. Can we not rise above the external, perhaps even have a sense of humour, and use these things to cultivate a character of graciousness? Is it so difficult to adopt an individual perspective, rather than latching onto the apparent mass mentality?

(A quick qualifier, based on Facebook feedback I received to a similar status update: To those, who like me, have experienced snow-related stresses, mishaps, and unwelcome adventures like car accidents and fallen trees/branches - both of which I have experienced in the snow - I empathize, and do not direct my comments at your experience of those situations. As I also noted on Facebook, clearly any "thing" can be associated with unfortunate events - other generally more welcome activities and circumstances - sunshine, hiking and biking and boating, cooking and woodworking, rain - all these things have unfortunate and even tragic events associated with them...but we do not shun them - we choose to continue making the most of them. We don't complain incessantly about them. And we don't wonder why they are part of our lives.)

Now, back to snow's lovelier qualities...

Ah, snow.

But won't Spring be delightful?

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

I Like Shrove Tuesday Better Than Lent

Mmm, fluffy pancakes, real maple syrup, chocolate chips, bacon, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries. 'Twas a tasty all-in-one dinner & dessert last night!

Now, on to Lent.

Ok, so I have never actually observed Lent. I think I've tried to come up with something to "give up" before (one year in my former, frustrating workplace, I think it was "complaining about work" - which didn't go anywhere). Lent was never really part of our family or church tradition, but seems to have become quite a bit more popular for folks of various church backgrounds. I know lots of folks who do the usual giving up of chocolate, alcohol, and other, often food-related, things. I don't hear as much talk about the other side of Lent - adding or beefing up something (mmm, beef) with a spiritual focus (other than maybe to offer a quick prayer during a bad chocolate craving).

As usual, I haven't given much thought to Lent. But it's been hard to ignore entirely, with folks on Facebook and whatnot sharing their Lenten decisions here and there. And sitting here this morning (yes, yes, I'll start working soon...in fact, if I had been working already, maybe I would have saved myself from the notion I am currently contemplating), my dangerous mind suddenly allowed a distasteful thought to creep in - maybe I should consider NOT purchasing any new clothing items during Lent. What? Brain...stop working...stop, stop! But it kept going - perhaps "non-essential" book purchases should also be put on hold. Now, come on. If there is such a thing as a non-essential book purchase, surely all book purchases are at least noble and completely justifiable. Please???

Uh oh. I feel the shakes coming on already, and I haven't even committed. I am going to have to stay off the computer, walk with my eyes to the ground when in the community, stay OUT of Winners, and keep loud music playing at all times to drown myself out for the next 40 days if this is to be successful.

What about finding a nice, Easter Sunday outfit? I am planning to attend a conference in Ottawa in April...what about out of town shopping opportunities? Ahhh. Need to think this through more.

Although, I did just make an online clothing purchase last night, and I know I really don't need clothes right now. Just wait, though - I'll commit, and then horrible things will happen - like my favourite jeans (out of the very few that currently fit) will rip and have bleach dumped on them, my tops will all accidentally be shrunken, my shoes will spring leaks and tears. A fantastic, one-of-a-kind, limited time only pair of Toms will come to my attention (something like the Ethipia water shoe I missed out on last fall because I thought I should ask for it for Christmas instead of just ordering it for myself on the spot). Oh, the horror.

If I do this, please don't be alarmed if you can't find me for the next 4o days. Huddled in my room, with my loud music, and my eyes tightly closed against the world. Oh wait, I also need to replace my sacrifice with something of spiritual value. Ok, maybe if I sew up a storm of Africa bags (poor, neglected sewing) I might live to tell the tale. Yes, that might just do the trick. Deep breath.

Will keep you posted, or not. It all depends.