Mom with Harry, Ron, me, and Sylvia in 1959
My parents were married on November 1, 1952, three weeks after Mom landed in Canada.
Six years later, at the age of twenty-five, she had four children to look after and business accounts to keep while learning a new language and finding her way in a different culture—never mind finding time to enjoy a new marriage.
Dad had come to Canada in 1950 and soon afterwards took cheese making courses at the Ontario College of Agriculture in Guelph. He began managing the Cherry Hill Cheese Factory before their second child was born. By the third (me) and fourth were born, he was winning awards for his cheese in local and international competitions. Of course, Mom helped Dad prepare for those competitions.
The pace of life didn’t slow down for them until my oldest brother, Harry, started school. But their reprieve was short-lived. Harry brought home every childhood illness going around: chickenpox, mumps, measles, colds and flus. When my youngest brother was six months old, he had such severe pneumonia, the doctor put him in hospital for a week.
“The doctor told me, ‘Don’t visit him. You’ll only make him cry,’” she told me. “Besides who would look after the rest of you?”
I shook my head, imagining Ronnie surrounded by strangers and my mother with three young children at home, fearing her baby might die.
Mom and Dad had found a treasure in each other and invested all they had to buy that field. They also bought the struggles came with it.
In speaking of Jesus’ parable of the treasure in the field, Robert Farrar Capon said,
“The man who discovered the treasure did not simply buy a cubic yard or so of nice clean dirt in which he cleverly buried it. He bought the whole property: sinkholes, dung heaps, poison ivy, and sticker bushes plus all the rats, mice, flies and beetles that came with it. He now owns not only the treasure, but the field in which it is found.”
I imagine a field like that and want to plough it all under and start again. But, who has energy for that after washing diapers and wiping noses, keeping books and grasping for words?
Besides, it is not the way of Love to plough under.
Love finds treasures and buys fields, and then finds more treasure. Love discovers God in sinkholes and dung heaps. Then Love calls forth the divine from all that is.
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
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Love Mischief for the World
“Reduce hunger with dignity. Build community. Foster sustainability.” That’s the love mischief Quest and their friendly staff are doing for the world. Quest is British Columbia’s largest not-for-profit food exchange program. They offer access to affordable and healthy food choices for those facing barriers to this basic necessity. In partnering with food suppliers, social service agencies, and community stakeholders, they have fine-tuned their social enterprise model to become a hub of food redistribution in the Lower Mainland. Their programs are seen as essential to marginalized individuals as they transition themselves towards self-sufficiency.