blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit

blending an assortment of thoughts and experiences for my friends, relations and kindred spirit
By Alison Hobbs, blending a mixture of thoughts and experiences for friends, relations and kindred spirits.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Newness of life

When I was much, much younger, my father used to take my sister and me to Mattins at our local Anglican church on Sunday mornings, phrases from which have stuck in my mind since, some of them out of context. For instance, the prayer:
... grant to these thy servants, that by the power of thy Holy Spirit they may be set free from the chains of sin, and may be brought to newness of life ...
Nowadays I'm more indifferent to "the chains of sin" than perhaps I should be, but "the power of thy Holy Spirit" and "newness of life" are words that five decades later still resonate. They remind me of that Advice from the Quakers: to live adventurously.

To contrive to see the familiar from a different angle each day is a good exercise, whether religion comes into it or not. A literal example: on Monday, for the first time, I happened to ride on the top deck of one of OC Transpo's 74 new(ish) double-decker busses down the Sir John A. MacDonald parkway, the scenic route to Parliament Hill appearing quite different and more splendid from up there. Yesterday, I cycled along the newly surfaced trail between the canal and Queen Elizabeth Drive to a friend's house by Dows Lake, part way back on my return ride deviating along the newly constructed Princess Patricia Way to the Landsdowne Park development, which I'd not explored before. I found some lunch* at one of the brand new, sparkling clean caf├ęs by the "courtyard" there, before pedalling on past the gardens in glorious, full, autumnal flower, the blue water on my right. Because the Chateau Laurier pool is closed for renovations this month, I then visited the Westin's swimming pool on its 6th floor instead (free of charge for Chateau Laurier health club members at present), which wasn't exactly a spiritual experience, any more than my lunch was, far too self-indulgent, but there again, it was new for me, and I had the whole pool to myself, so I enjoyed it thoroughly. (In the evening Chris brought my total day's kilometrage to about 20km by taking me for an evening walk.)

In the evening I sent an email promising to help an Arabic speaking Syrian refugee now settling in Ottawa to learn English --- that will be Something Different too, my goodness.

Tomorrow Chris and I are flying our Cessna into the USA, which we've admittedly often done before, although we shall visit places we have never previously visited, starting with Hagerstown, Maryland. I have no idea what that will be like. Then we hope to continue further south, to see what we can encounter for the first time down there.


*During lunch and later, I was working at a translation into German of phrases for a paper my husband needs to present in that language, on the software handling of hardware errors, learning a wide range of unfamiliar vocabulary in the process. So my day was not entirely self-indulgent.

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