|Vermillion Lake-Mount Rundle reflection|
I am highly reflective these days. Not nostalgic as much as contemplative. My age is partially responsible for this, as well as retirement. When I was actively employed, the daily routine and the full agenda restricted meditative time. Now the hours of each day are generally my own, to wake early and to read and to blog and to paint and to walk and to have coffee with a friend, and to hang out with a grandchild, and to watch TV and to nap. Moreover, now that my parents are gone and I am the eldest in the family and I am the grandparent, the senior, hopefully a long way from being a patriarch, I think a great deal about legacy, passing on the story, remembering the past. The urgency of recollection is driven by the realization that I have killed off a load of brain cells in recent years. Five years ago I suffered a grand mal seizure and certain short term memory connections blew out. I am no longer the bright star of trivia games. I am deeply grateful for life itself and for the life I have been permitted to live and to enjoy. In my faith understanding of the world and my place in it, I see myself as a recipient of so much that is undeserved. Well, maybe all of it. With the exception of academic degrees for which I worked my buns off, I have been accorded blessings, opportunities, privileges and honours that had virtually nothing to do with me. Good and responsible parents with high standards for relationships and work and morality. Their examples and affection bound me voluntarily to a code of conduct that was ultimately good for me. That's what I received right from the start. Some natural, latent and developed talent and ability in some areas stirred my interests and moved me forward in life on a good track. Interested and thoughtful encouragers in young adulthood stimulated my involvement in numerous activities and service that steered my life. Finding that the girl to whom I was attracted, also like me became the superior blessing of all. She married me. She and I grew a life out of innocence and naivety into a family of two children, five grandchildren, decades of good service to others in churches and organizations where we worked. And now the work is history and the family goes on, and it turns out that the relationships are still most rewarding. I draw a dinosaur with my grandson. I snuggle with the tiniest granddaughter. The oldest granddaughter lets me put my face against here face. The two middle grandsons spontaneously, unexpectedly come to hug me. Friends still surface from times spent up to fifty years ago and it is deeply satisfying. All of it is by grace. That's the way I look at it. Unmerited. A good gift, greatly appreciated.