be the change | Albion Falls, Ontario

I pack lunches and we pile into the van. In a city with 100 waterfalls, it’s high time we visit another. Setting the GPS to Albion Falls, we leave the campground and head southeast. We pass the travel time by listening to Mr. Poppers Penguins.

DISSAPOINTING DESCENT

Twenty minutes later we arrive, exit the van and begin our hike to the falls. The sign near the trailhead warns of poison ivy. Ironically, we feel well prepared to identify and avoid the dangerous flora, thanks to our time in Connecticut. Making our way cautiously down the embankment, we meet the down-flow from the falls and begin to track it to its head.

Characteristically, we hear the falls before seeing it. As we approach, stepping gingerly from one dry rock to another, it becomes immediately obvious that we are not the first ones to traverse this trail. The breathtaking chiaroscuro* filtering through the trees and refracting off the water does nothing to detract from the garbage lying about. Try as I might, I cannot not see the trash. It’s everywhere. Plastic water bottles are piled up in heaps. Empty firework casings from the recent 150-celebration float in the water, helplessly trapped behind a rock. Dirty socks and Tim Horton coffee cups are peeking out from the bushes.

Undaunted, our kids seek out pools of water in which to peer and boulders and rocks begging to be stood upon. In my efforts to take a photo sans garbage, I succeed. Yet I know when I look at the picture in the future, my brain will auto-insert the trash that was so carefully omitted. Continue reading “be the change | Albion Falls, Ontario”

learning to row | Hamilton, Ontario

A week ago I waited at the water’s edge, while Trent went sailing on his birthday. As I sat, a crew of rowers cascaded before me, bringing their boats to the lake. With practice and precision they launched their vessels and worked as one, stealthily gliding over the surface of the water. Observing their elegant movements, I longed to join them.

learning to row

ONE WEEK LATER:

I arrive, fresh and excited, the newest motivated member of the Hamilton Learn-to-Row class. My first lesson includes a 45-minute safety video, practice on an erg machine and time in the rowing tank. I imbibe* all that I can, taking notes and jotting down new rowing vocabulary. Meanwhile, two younger participants (whose parents have prompted their presence) jab each other in jest behind the instructors back.

learning to row

The following day I’m fifteen minutes early for class. When my rowing partner arrives, we warm up on the erg and prepare our equipment. Neither of us has any experience, which makes us equally unqualified for the task we are about to undertake. Cradling the boat upon our shoulders, we traverse the path to the loading docks. I glance to the left and see the grassy knoll where I sat one-week prior, dreaming of this very moment. As we push off from the dock, and drift away from shore, I realize that I’ve just crossed off a bucket-list item whose ink hardly had time to dry on the page. Continue reading “learning to row | Hamilton, Ontario”

our true home | celebrating Canada Day

Yesterday we’d hoped to be driving out of Canada. Instead, we are adjusting to the reality of a three-day delay in our truck repairs. Rather than searching for a place in Michigan to boondock for the night, we are in the unexpected position of attending Canada’s 150th anniversary celebration.

CANADA DAY

Today, July 1st, is Canada Day. Our RV neighbors sit outside sipping on beer with a Canadian flag emblazoned on the can while wearing red t-shirts with a large white maple leaf in the center. An “I Am Canadian” flag proudly stretches across the back of their RV. Fifty feet away, the juxtaposition* of our Idaho license plates make us the obvious imposters in the group.

Celebrating Canada Day Continue reading “our true home | celebrating Canada Day”

faith escarpment | Hamilton, Ontario

Our truck’s old engine is out and the replacement is ready to go in. Mr. Mechanic is hard on the job. We are left playing the waiting game.

A sunny forecast beckons us to pass the time outside. I pack a lunch, the kids change into swimming suits, and we all climb in the van. Continue reading “faith escarpment | Hamilton, Ontario”

i choose to trust | lessons in faith

It’s morning. The day after the roadside storm that ended with our truck in the shop and us in an unexpected place of surrender.

Before my eyes adjust to the light streaming through my bedside window, I hear the birds. They are happy, flamboyant, carefree. Their jovial song serves as a strong reminder:

“Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns—and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his lifespan?…Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:26-27, 2”

The truth is stronger than morning coffee. Thus my day begins with this simple prayer, “Lord, instead of worry, today I choose to trust in You. Remind me of that choice should I waver.

Continue reading “i choose to trust | lessons in faith”