I was clicking through photos this morning in preparation for Christmas and I came across a photo that stopped me in my tracks. It was not a photo from the Christmas concert or a photo of them doing something delightful.
It was almost a mistake. It was taken by my son as we walked along the street somewhere this fall.
Mid-step, we walk in the sun somewhere together.
Someday,this photo, as unintended as it was, will be so precious to me.
A little boy (who is not so little anymore) walking by my side everywhere we go.
The churches in our province are struggling to keep the doors open, the furnaces lit and to stay relevant.
They used to be the glue in many of our rural and urban communities. They provided a place, which, at least theoretically, was meant to provide shelter, comfort and a meaningful structure to life.
Our city is just about to open a outrageously gorgeous library which we are all eagerly awaiting entrance into. We've been teased with the odd picture here and there of it's magnificence and I can only imagine that the real thing will be something to behold and be breathlessly proud of. Finally, a public space right downtown in which we can seek shelter from the sideways rain of winter without having to buy anything in the process.
As we anxiously await its big debut, I have been closely following the heartbreaking developments in Ferguson. One of the important stories that I heard about this community has been the role the public library has played in creating a space for healing and safety. Even when the schools had to close, the library stayed open. In a recent interview, the only paid employee of the Ferguson library urged everyone to cherish their own libraries and the important work that they do in our communities.
I am very excited to experience the shininess of the new library for myself and for my kids. But I am even more excited about the comfort it will bring and hopefully its transformative power it will acquire after the lights and the tables and chairs and walls lose a bit of shine. A fancy building is going to be an incredible gift for our community, but the sense of community it will inspire, the glue it will squeeze into our lives, helping us to stick better together well after the floors get a few scuffs on them is what is going to be really valuable.
Before I started taking photographs, or whatever you can call the outcome of taking pictures with an iphone, I heard about photographers falling in love with light. It is a well worn cliche I thought, but now that I have been regularly taking pictures I am starting to get it.
There is a light that I love. A light that the house creates at certain times of the day. When I see it, I drop everything and find my phone and start taking pictures.
I know it when I see it now. I wouldn't be able to get there scientifically, but the house permits the light and I accept it when it is available.
Not here exactly, but still, the cold wet rain that is the remorseless usher of snowfall certainly has.
As I steel myself against the cold rain, I always start plotting how to get warmer boots and more waterproof clothing at this time of year. I fantasize about being toasty as an element inside me starts to calibrate to the falling temperature.
We work hard to heat up the molecules in the room in which we sit and play.
How will we keep the molecules warm this week, this month, this season?
I get there soaking wet--a chilly cold has set in that is hard to warm up from, but my friend has a floor vent, and that changes everything. The heat rushes up to meet me. I quickly take off my socks and stretch them across the grate eagerly anticipating their dryness against my skin. I stood over that grate, just for a moment, to fully experience the blast of heat.
I turned my attention to my friends, and over the next hour, I almost forgot that heating grate, I almost took for granted how ready that heat was compared to how vanquished it was just metres from where I sat on the other side of that wall. But the wine, and the grate and the company cast a spell and my mind did not wander to how to get warmer boots even once.
But as, I went back outside and returned to our house to heat up the molecules again, the memory of being warmed, warmed me through.
Those snowflakes and rain drops fall fast down towards the boiling red lit from within structures that we build against them. Little do they know how fragile those structures are under their weight.