Thursday, November 27, 2014

The power of a river, of love

The city has vanished today, it's snowing that hard. I know it's there on the other side of a wall of whiteness, but it's not possible to see the skyscrapers across the river, never mind three blocks down the road.

Shadow and I took just a short walk this morning. I decided to let him follow his nose, and was surprised when his nose turned homeward even sooner than I expected, probably because the windchill was reaching -29 C (-20 F). By mid-afternoon, the white stuff was up to the pup's chest, and it's supposed to continue snowing until noon tomorrow. 30 cm (12 in) was predicted, and I think we've got that already.

So it may be a while before Shadow and I can return to our favourite walks along and in the river valley. I'm glad we took the valley trails last week and on the weekend. If you remember, last Thursday we found a lovely rebel bike trail and were able to walk along a mostly frozen expanse of the North Saskatchewan where it takes a fairly tight turn. I told Lee about the walk that evening, and suggested we walk it together on Saturday.


The next day was warm and sunny, and everything began to melt. Grass started showing in our back yard, and the dog got so mucky from walking in puddles that I had to throw him in the laundry sink when we got home. 

On Saturday afternoon, Lee, Suzanna, and I took Shadow down the same rebel bike trail -- and the difference in the river's edge was amazing. Friday's warmth had weakened the ice that had spanned the river on Thursday, and the water pushed it right up against the banks in a giant jumble of slabs of all thicknesses. It would have been amazing to have a time-lapse camera set up for the 48 hours between the two walks...


This picture was taken on Monday, after more snow started to fall. You can see the open water where more ice is forming on the other side of the broken ice slabs. What amazes me the most is how tonnes of them piled up against the bank after just one day of warmth. The forces of nature are often quiet, moving almost without notice, but unstoppable all the same. 

And love is unstoppable, too. I've been thinking a lot about the happenings in Ferguson, Missouri, and how much people the world over need to remember that it's up to each person to decide whether love or hate will flow with inexorable force in our lives. It brings back to mind an old David Foster tune (written around the time the Berlin wall fell, with a line or two sung by Brian Adams) that I haven't heard in ages -- upbeat and optimistic -- that insists we are moving back to a River of Love. If you've never heard it, and the key change that still gives me goosebumps, I've found it on YouTube and posted it and its lyrics below.

My prayer, for everyone in Ferguson Missouri, for ICIL and those working to counter its hatred, for our missing and murdered First Nations women and their families, and for the marginalized homeless who are certainly feeling the cold in my city today, is that we can all remember our oneness and unleash God's relentless, unstoppable love in every corner of our broken world. God, help us to act justly, love tenderly, and walk humbly with our hands in yours.

+AMEN.


Life after life
Stand before eyes of the world
Each man, woman and child must decide
We hold inside
All the keys to paradise
All nations, all people, all are one

We were born in love and innocence
That's how we came here
We were given hearts to love or hate with
Our time has come
When we can live as one
River of love
We are moving back to the river of love

Tired walls must fall
That new hearts may be set free
We stand close to the edge of the truth
Old wounds must heal in a fresh equality forever
All nations, all people, all are one

We were born in love and innocence...

Every day our lives draw together
Why don't we help each other?
This is a chance for all the word
To have what it needs
The freedom to love

We were born in love and innocence...

We are moving back to the river of love...

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