Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Sleep Interrupted

Night four of "Charlie's Cold". Two hours after he fell asleep, he is awakened, his body racked by coughing spasms. I crawl out of bed, and wordlessly we head downstairs. We huddle on the couch, while the kettle boils. A few minutes later he is hunched over a bowl of boiling water, with towel wrapped around him. Coughing subsided, we head back up to bed. I crawl between the sheets, fingers and toes crossed and praying that we won't have to repeat this routine again tonight. In a few short hours it will be dawn.

We've become so good at this nightly routine, so mechanical, that we are like zombies. I'm not even sure we are awake. We occupy the same spot on the couch, night after night. We've got the motions down pat, and can be back into bed in about 20 minutes.

The whole thing is vaguely reminiscent of a similar, zombie like routine some twelve years ago. Only then, instead of boiling a kettle to steam, I was heating a bottle and changing a diaper.

Meanwhile, it is morning and snow is falling. Upstairs, one son plunks out "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bells" on his keyboard, interspersed with the melodic "Malengua" he has been practicing. The other son has his ear glued to CBC Radio, waiting for a "bus cancelled" announcement that doesn't come.

Time marches on. * o

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Of Writing Classes, Journals, and Faith

I just completed a Journaling for Writers course at the Long Story Short School of Writing website. Erica Miner is a great instructor, encouraging but challenging, not letting me get away with mediocre, but pulling so much more out of me.

I ended up going through my old journals in order to complete some of the assignments. I poured through early entries, amused, amazed and sometimes bored with my younger, whinier self. I'd forgotten how tired I always was when the boys were younger. I'd forgotten some of the cute things they had done, or the fascinating things they would say.

The walk down memory lane did a couple of things for me besides help me to complete my assignments.

First, I often think this writing thing I do is something I recently got into. The journals remind me that writing is something I have done throughout my life. I have always poured myself out on paper, sometimes through poetry, sometimes in a journal. Sure, there were long, dry periods of no writing but I have yet to give it up forever. My journals remind me of my progress and my growth.

The second discovery involves my spiritual growth. My faith journey is sprinkled throughout my sporadic, journal entries. The periods of doubt, the search for a deeper faith, the quests down different paths, all the journeys that led back to one place, one God. One who was there all the time - in the beginning and the end.

The journey is far from over yet, and I'm sure more will be examined through the pages of my journal. Still it is comforting to realize that God is my constant companion in these pages. It is a friendship explored in ink, revealed in bound pages and sealed in the heart. * o

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Walk in November

It was such an unusually warm November day today, that I had to go for a walk. The only way I could tell it was November, and not April or May was that the sun hung lower in the sky and the water was a gray, slate color. Not as much blue in the sky to reflect on the surface.

I went down past the cemetary again - one of my favorite jaunts. My son once asked why I walked that way and I replied that it was peaceful there. To which he sardonically quipped "of course, everyone's dead". Smart cookie, that boy.

Maybe it's melancholy to roam graveyards with opera music playing in your headphones, but in addition to peace, this walk offers a flat road and an impressive view of Nipigon Bay.

As the sun warms my face, I'm all too aware that tomorrow it is supposed to get cold again and snow. Winter lurks around the corner, hemming me in. Already the daylight hours are far too short. For now, I bask in sunlight, watch the ducks glide across the lagoon, and breathe in deep as if I could inhale this moment and preserve it through the long, dark winter nights.

Today is a gift. Tomorrow it can snow.

"Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadows" - Helen Keller * o