Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Of Cosmic Miracles

I've been trying something new lately.

Autumn is coming here in Vancouver, and you can feel it. No really, you can! It drops down from the sky and smacks you in the face and stays with you for hours as your body heat slowly dries up the damp. In short, the rain is back.

We've been spoiled this summer with an excessively sunny season. It has been hot, dry, and cloudless nearly all summer. It was so bad that trees were dying because these BC folks have forgotten (as you do when you live in a rain forest) that if there is no rain you actually have to water trees to keep them alive.

Anyways, the rain is back, and people are complaining. So I've been trying something new. Every time someone looks annoyed and mentions "it's raining again..." I let a glazed, dreamy expression settle over my face with a half-smile, as if I'm remembering how my first crush made me feel when he smiled at me. Then I mumble "Yeah, isn't it great?" Typically I get a really weird look in response, wondering whatever could I mean, that this cold, wet, and gloomy reality is back. If they ask a question, they are in for it...

"It's a freaking cosmic miracle!" I explain "The very thing we need for life, liquid water, which is only liquid within fantastically small temperature ranges, is FALLING FROM THE SKY!... This is like better than money, or BBQed pork (for all you Lamb readers out there), or gold, or... or... pretty much anything! (although actually, beer would be pretty cool falling from the sky, though everything would be pretty sticky...). Pure water is falling from the sky for free! Do you know how rare this is? It's awesome!"

By this time, they are usually smiling quizically and saying "I've never thought of it that way" and they walk off with hopefully a little more gratitude in their hearts for the miracle they have just witnessed.

Random act of kindness for the day: check!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

School begins again...

I always feel like September is a time for new birth. New life. It is the real New Year in the student calendar. It is a time to recommit to devoting oneself to study. You make promises about how much you'll accomplish, and hope that you'll last just a little longer than last year before breaking them.
Everyone comes back from the summer, rested, renewed, and excited. New people come, and you always know that there will be new friends and old friends, and joyful meetings and boring repetitions of answers to the same three questions over and over and over again.
New paper, new books, and sharp pencils. Everything is made new.

Did I mention that I love September and the start of school?

This year, I am looking forward to a couple of things in particular. I am in a seminar that will be amazing. On political thought. I've spent the last couple weeks immersed in Aristotle's Politics and it was been amazing.

I am also looking forward to Anglican communion and mid-day prayers at the college. I think the loss of my daily communal prayer time has been one of the greatest losses of my summer. The structure of prayer is vital for my undisciplined self, and those daily refocussings help me to get out of myself. Especially the communion liturgy.
I always thought that liturgy would be boring, but I find that coming to the same words when you can be in such different places is a great gift. Some weeks I am bored, others I am distraught and stressed, others I am joyful. But the words remain the same, and so each week is like seeing it from a different perspective. Then, after, we go for lunch and talk about theology, politics, personal lives, the Anglican church, and whatever else.

I'm glad that school is starting again. Please, remind me of this in early November.