Tuesday, September 3, 2013


September the third. School has started and routine has returned once again. Shadow the puppy knew something was "wrong" this morning -- it has been months since everyone converged in the kitchen at 7 a.m. Husband drove off in the car, eldest daughter hopped her bike to get to her new job (coffee barista in the mornings, university in the afternoons) and our other two daughters raced out the door to get to high school and junior high. Shadow and I caught a glimpse of them turning the corner to the bus stop, and he got hung up on his leash in his hurry to catch up.

We said good bye at the bus stop and walked past three more neighbourhood schools on our first early morning walk in weeks. We also passed the yard of a woman whose plum tree was dropping some of its fruit on the ground. "Those are beautiful plums," I told her, and she turned, apologizing that she speaks only French, so I told her I understood French, and she told me the plums make delicious confiture. I asked if I could taste one, and she gave me five, asking where I lived and if I could take more. I thanked her and walked on, the plums cold in my pocket. Then I thought, why not taste one now?

It was cool as the morning dew, juicy, sweet, et fantastique! I turned back to tell her so, but she had gone back into her house. No matter. I have a plan... this evening, I will take a small pear (not quite ripe) from my tree, and an icecream pail, and return to her house to ask if we can make une échange fruits. I would love to bake some Italian Prune and Nut Loaf this week, and next week I can take her a pail of ripe pears. I love it!

Here's Henri Nouwen, one of my favourite spiritual writers, whose reference to abundance certainly fits this time of year:
The opposite of a scarcity mentality is an abundancy mentality.  With an abundancy mentality we say:  "There is enough for everyone, more than enough:  food, knowledge, love ... everything."  With this mind-set we give away whatever we have, to whomever we meet.  When we see hungry people we give them food.  When we meet ignorant people we share our knowledge; when we encounter people in need of love, we offer them friendship and affection and hospitality and introduce them to our family and friends.
When we live with this mind-set, we will see the miracle that what we give away multiplies:  food, knowledge, love ... everything.  There will even be many leftovers. 
-- Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, May 7
God bless all students and teachers, and give them an abundantly fruitful school year. AMEN!

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