Enfin, nous sommes à Montréal ...

For almost 30 years I have returned to the Book of Common Prayer and Prayers for the
Domestic Church (Fr. Ed Hays) to get grounded. So today, as we begin to make our abode in our new flat on Rue Chapleau on the Eastern border of Le Plateau en Montreal, I find myself looking to Fr. Ed's wisdom yet again. He writes:

Blessed are you, Lord our god,
   for You have created a wide and wonderful world
   in which we can travel.
We ask Your blessing upon us...
Be our ever-near companion, O Holy Guide of Travelers,
   and spread the road before us
   with beauty and adventure.
May all the highways ahead of us
   be free of harm and evil.
May we be accompanied by Your holy spirits,
   Your angelic messengers,
   as were the holy ones of days past.

On this tripe may we take with us
   as part of our traveling equipment
   a heart wrapped in wonder with which to rejoice
   in all that we shall meet.
Along with the clothing of wonder,
   may we have room in our luggage
   for a mystic map
   by which we can find the invisible meanings
   of the events of this journey -\
   of possible disappointments and delays,
   of possible breakdowns and rainy day troubles.

Always awake to Your Sacred Presence
   and to Your divine compassionate love,
   may we see in all that happens to us,
   in the beautiful and the band,
   the mystery of Your holy plan.
May the blessing of your name be upon us, Holy Three in One and One in Three,
   throughout this trip,
   and bring us home again in safety and peace.
Amen. +
(travelers may make the sing of the cross or share a kiss of peace.)

We had three funny and challenging things happen as we made our way from Pittsfield to Montreal yesterday:

+ First, Di programmed the GPS to "avoid highways" so we could travel up Route 7 and avoid the noise and hassle of I 89.  At some point, however, we were told to leave 7 for Vermont 100 - a lovely two lane thoroughfare that takes a traveler THROUGH THE MIDDLE OF NO WHERE - and adds about two hours to the trip. So, when the fog burned through our minds and we realized what was happening, we made some mid-course adjustments and finally got back on the highway and arrived at our flat about 5:30 pm.

+ Second, the young border guard was puzzled about a "sabbatical" and "all the stuff you have on top of the car." So we experienced the first random check in 8 years. It went fine - we have neither guns nor narcotics - and the main man in charge of exploring our old Subaru was smitten with Lucie - a good sign of things to come - and in 20 minutes we were back on the road. I always fret during such events. Yes, I am well-practiced maintaining a non-anxious outer presence, but I still find myself praying without ceasing until we get back on the road and well beyond the border crossing.

+ And third, I got my first parking ticket in Montreal this morning. I was certain I had
obeyed all the parking restrictions on our street - Rue Chapleau - everything about moving on lundi entre 9:30 -10:30 du matin. to not parking in the Zone 90 areas (local residents only.) So after the street cleaners did our street, I strolled over to the next block to move our car et voila... je devais un ticket de parking pour 50 dollars!  "Merde!" I thought until I started to laugh and recall Fr. Ed's prayer. This, too, is a learning experience - and I was delighted it hadn't been towed!

We've spent the morning walking Lucie for her constitutional, sipping tea and coffee and getting our respective computers set up in the new study. This is a week for wandering and wondering and watching. Di will soon be posting new pictures from the last leg of the US trip over at Jazz for the Journey (https://jazz
forthejourney.wordpress.com/) I suspect some of the other church leaders will be adding updates to their pages, too. Believe me, the sacred irony of leaving on Pentecost has not escaped me - it is a time for new initiatives, deeper wisdom and a renewed sense of God's mysterious guidance even in our darkest times - like Fr. Ed notes in this prayer:

Blessed are you, Lord our God, who in the richness of your Diving Love,
blesses us with good things.

Lord God, we bless You
   and are filled with gratitude for the numerous gifts,
   the countless blessings,
   that come to us from You.
Your blessings come in times of joy,
   in times of victory, in success and honor,
   and they come as well in times of pain and sorrow,
   in sickness and defeat.
Your blessings, however, come always as life...

In winning and in losing -
   in being last as well as first -
   we take relish in the challenge and adventure
   of Your great gift of life.
Lord, we thank you for all the gifts
   that flow fully, day and night,
   into our lives.
Today, with full hearts,
   in the company of Jesus, Mary and all your saints,
   we bless You for all the good that has come to us.
Blessed are You, Lord our God,
   who in the richness of Your divine love,
   blesses us with good things.
Amen. +


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