and so it goes...

Today was "get your bearings day" in Montréal: we slept in, chatted over tea and coffee and then headed off to find Dianne's classrooms in Le Vieux Montréal. It takes exactly 26 minutes from our flat to the school - in either direction - and now that we have the lay of the land, another layer of anxiety can be put to rest. It was a stunning day with warm sun and lots of locals soaking it in. After a stop at "Brits and Chips" for some comfort food (maple battered sole), it was back home for more resting and reading. Then out to a local park before hitting Le Metro supermarché for supplies. Our goal is to do this as modestly as possible so that we can have a few big treats like Cirque du Soliel on the flip side of the encounter.

Truth is we've been working towards this since the sabbatical two years ago. Di discerned that now was the time for her to chart a new direction - one specifically focused on immigrants and language skills - and I realized I was being called out of one ministry (and probably into another.) We have been working at reducing debt, saving resources and living in a focused way so that we can honor this time away. That means a
 time of true experimentation starts tomorrow for us both: Di in her English practicum and me wandering, praying and listening to my heart in relative solitude. I genuinely want to support her in this project in whatever way I can. And, while she is hard at work teaching, critiquing herself and others and acquiring new skills, I want to mostly be still. Yes, I'm going to take in some great jazz from time to time, but a quote I came across this morning from Merton really cuts to the chase:

If you allow people to praise me, I shall not worry. If you let them blame me, I shall worry even less. If You send me work, I shall embrace it with joy. . . . If you send me rest, I will rest in You. Only save me from myself. Save me from my own private, poisonous urge to change everything, to act without reason, to move for movement's sake, to unsettle everything that You have ordained. Let me rest in Your will and be silent. Then the light of Your joy will warm my life. Its fire will burn in my heart and shine for Your glory. That is what I live for. Amen. Amen.  "THE SIGN OF JONAS"

Once again I was reminded of how incompetent yet focused I am on this quest while at Le Metro. The young clerk greeted us, we responded in our well rehearsed French and Di went to pay when I was asked something about which bags would she like me to use first. I could mostly comprehend her French words but... my ears and brain are still stuck in the States and I had no idea how to respond. So, once again with humility, I had to ask for a bit of English noting that I am still trying to learn French. "Je suis en tran d'apprendre Francais." She smiled and said, "Don't worry... you'll get it... somehow!" A bit of encouragement and reality at the super market. And so it goes.


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