I attended the funeral the other day – the father of a friend from high school – and it brought back a lot of memories. My family relocated from the west end of Toronto to the east end when I was 15. Being a new kid in high school where all the kids knew each other paralyzed me with shyness – which some of my classmates saw as snobbishness.
In French class, the teacher asked me and another new girl to tell the class about the schools from which we had come. After class, Ingrid asked me whether I knew a boy named Mart S___, her boyfriend. Turns out he had been in my grade 10 homeroom at my old school! So began a rich lifelong friendship!
As an introvert, all I needed was one good friend. But Ingrid had a couple of friends at the school, so we became a foursome that made the last three years of high school kind of fun. Even better, for me, was the times I spent with Ingrid’s family.
My family was going through a difficult transition with our move and living in our own home alone for the first time. Hanging out with Ingrid and her family was a treat. A boisterous German clan – parents, one daughter and two sons – that swept me up into their midst and I found I could relax and be myself with them.
That flood of memories was unleashed at the funeral, as I remembered that bittersweet time in my life.
The Brits have their Bank holiday and we here in Ontario have Simcoe Day on the first Monday in August. That day, two friends, a poodle and I drove northward to a cottage, stopping for lunch at Webber’s (a tradition). Munching on so-so burgers sitting at a picnic table in a grassy knoll, we watched the weekenders driving back into the city – bumper to bumper.
Following two weeks of typical HHH summer weather, we had a very pleasant warm spell during our second annual cottage girls’ getaway. This was perfect for mornings on the dock, reading the Bible and talking about it, or reading through a spiritual growth book titled “The Best Yes” http://thebestyes.com/ This lighthearted but helpful tome gave us one BIG takeaway – the beauty of “the small no”.
We also delighted in two daily walks, 2 kilometers each, upon gently rolling roadways – extra fun with a couple of detours to snoop at cottages that were uninhabited and had unshaded windows. Two other friends joined us for a couple of days, one of which featured PERFECT weather – sunny and hot but with a pleasant breeze off the lake. The drive home the following Monday was peaceful and pleasant, until we hit major commuter city, Barrie. The increased traffic, industrial pockets, malls and other signs of civilization were sad reminders that we were on the verge of resuming real life. Sigh…
The other day, I read this delightful post by Margaret, who perfectly captures that summer-is-almost over feeling, virtually taking a pace out of MY life (yours too, perhaps?)
She so perfectly summarizes summers of days gone by – echoing my own childhood experiences.
Which brings me to the threshold of Fall – back to school for kids and teachers – with fresh starts and new beginnings for many of us.
I signed up for some life-coaching sessions with a former-pastor Christian life coach, hoping she can help me to refocus on living with purpose and being a difference maker in ways that count – i.e., that may earn me the most longed-for blessing of any Christ follower. Jesus saying these golden words: “well done, good and faithful servant”.
I have a couple of small nods in that category, but there’s a lot of room for improvement. So, this Fall, growth in treasures that moth and rust will not destroy, but that will be stored up in heaven for eternal impact. Fortunately, I have a close friend who is taking the sessions as well, so we can encourage each other, “as iron sharpens iron”.
I bless all of you with some poignant but pleasant endings; continuing joy with the many middles; and some interesting new beginnings this Fall.
With agape love,