I follow my senses to my childhood, lying on the lawn looking up at the clouds in a blue, blue sky. No more school for two whole months.
In the next breath, I’m taken to another lawn–my parents’ back yard in Vernon on the May long weekend. Dad’s pushing the electric mower, just about done. He’s already tanned, though it’s been a wet spring. He loves his lawns, back and front. Not a weed in them. “I cut the lawn on my 89th birthday,” he says proudly when he sits down to join us. His biking, hiking, and driving days are over, but he can still cut the lawn–for now anyway.
I return from my reverie and look out the window. Up until a month ago, Fred cut this lawn. Birds would follow him, grateful for the food he served up with every pass of the mower.
Now someone younger does the landscaping in our townhouse complex. The birds have a new hero, and I have more time with mine.
Another breath of fresh-cut grass and an old Gordon Lightfoot song comes to mind.
Sit by my side come as close as the air
Share in a memory of gray
And wander in my words
And dream about the pictures that I play, of changes
When I was in my teens, I’d sit on the front steps of my parents’ house in Ontario on warm summer evenings. My whole life spread out like the lawn in front of me–fresh and green. Oblivious to the occasional car passing by on the gravel road, I played my guitar and sang songs like this one, songs of love and loss, freedom and change.
God is still by my side as close as the air, feeding the birds, wandering in my words, and bringing new life in the changes.
God made the moon to mark the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
–Psalm 104:19 (NIV)
On July 1, Canada will celebrate its 150 birthday. On this great occasion, I would like to honour Canada’s Aboriginal Peoples. This image (left) represents the Anglican Church’s solidarity with the indigenous peoples of Canada. The fish and cross were the first Christian symbols. In the middle is another ancient symbol: the medicine wheel. “The circle, being primary, influences how we as Aboriginal peoples view the world,” writes Elder Jim Dumont in Culture, Behaviour and Identity of the Native Person. “In the process of how life evolves, how the natural world grows and works together, how all things are connected, and how all things move forward toward their destiny, Aboriginal peoples see and respond to the world in a circular fashion and are influenced by the examples of the circles of creation in our environment.” Thank you to our First Nations, Inuit, and Métis sisters and brothers for your gifts of wisdom, healing, and forgiveness. May we listen and use what you have given to bring reconciliation to you and to our land.