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Showing posts from July, 2015

The Unexpected Gift of Flowers... of Self... of Love!

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It’s going to be a short entry for a long and full day…

I spent the morning working finalizing the wedding service and the meditation.  This will be the first marriage I have conducted since Anna and I have separated and I’ve begun this journey of discovery and new beginnings.  I will share the wedding reflection as part of my blog after the wedding.

With the service and reflection and complete I did some personal banking, responded to some work related emails, did the dishes, packed the bike, locked up the house and headed off…

The ride to Dundalk was very pleasant – punctuated with some very humorous messages from friends back home.  One in particular touched me deeply and had me laughing for quite a few miles… that happens you know, when we share of our deepest selves – we connect with others in such a significant way.

Upon arriving at the wedding venue in Dundalk, I quickly marked my space by putting up my tent – in a very strategic location: near the motorhome, far from the band…

Throwback Thursday.. into the Grind of Work!

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Its been a throwback kinda Thursday!  Paul and I began the morning with coffee and toast with peanut butter... how many mornings did we rise from the gym floor and stumble to the kitchen and fumble for coffee?  And, having propped our eyes open with caffeine as a hundred or more kids snored away, enjoyed toast and peanut butter as the volunteers from the church prepared breakfast for the masses... good sustaining memories and simple things that accomplished significant impact... at least we hope!  Kids had fun, learned that faith could be real and fun, and nurtured relationships with some pretty amazing young people!

Listening to Paul play last night touched me to the core.  The cadence of the melody and the gentleness of his voice allowed me to wrestle with the questions of the song:

How well did you live?
How well did you love?
How well did you learn to let go?

In the end
what matters most
is how well did you live
how well did you love
how well did you learn
to let go

How well did …

Burgers and Connecting with an Old Buddy!

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This morning dawned bright and clear!  And after a few moments of quiet in the uncomfortable sofa bed connecting with a friend in a different time zones I crawled out and tried to straighten my back that had the imprint of the cross bar of the sofa bed frame on it!  It was gonna be a good day.  My sunburn didn't hurt and even the burn on my calf wasn't stinging... and the sun was up and the sky was blue!  The only thing missing was coffee and that was soon rectified once Duane got out of bed and we got on the road back toward Gravenhurst.

About halfway there I called Paul Rumbolt.  Paul and I did youth ministry together in Foothills Presbytery back in the early nineties: ski trips, retreats, rafting trips, special worship services and so on... we got to know a lot of awesome kids and have a lot of fun together!

As a musician, Paul has travelled across the country a fair bit and my work has seen me get to Alberta regularly and in most every case when one of us is in the vicini…

Shift, Shift, Shift... Moving Forward

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A new day… and what a beautiful day it is!Blue sky.Coffee on the deck.Words of connection and encouragement waiting in the inbox… a fine way to start!
Duane crawled out of bed once the coffee was ready and after a cup of Joe and some grunts he was human again… and put me to work.We loaded some stuff in the motorhome… and then the mishaps started!
I successfully backed the Jeep into a tight space and hitched it to the trailer and navigated the rig out of said tight space and parked it along side the house.Then we began to load “Plain Jane” on the trailer.I was walking the bike up, it was in gear and as I got to the top of the ramp I clutched in and got on the trailer to resume the journey… I let out the clutch and the rear tire spit the ramp out and the bike dropped on the trailer with the rear tire hanging off the back of the trailer… missing my foot (safely ensconced in my Brikenstocks) by mere centimeters!!!
With a bit of grunting (once we remembered to take the bike out of gear) w…

The Value of Community and Trusting Your Body...

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Its been an epic day!  I'm not one to ride with others very often - but - one must make exceptions for family!!

My cousin Duane rode from Gravenhurst to Hawkesbury, ON to meet me... its an honour thing for him!  So, having spent the night with Helen and Andrew I travelled through Quebec along Rte 148 to Genville where I crossed into Hawkesbury and met up with Duane and Cindy at the Comfort Inn...

Duane's first words... "That thing doesn't song like a Beemer..."  I laughed.  Beemer it is... his hearing is affected by the many years of riding a HOG!

Cindy and Duane packed up and we headed over to A&W where we enjoyed breakfast and the first of a number of catch up conversations... that always began with a question that somehow got at "what do you need/desire"...

One such conversation was... "when do you wish to stop... or... when does your ass need a break..."  I told Cindy I liked taking pictures of old barns... and thus began the pattern:…

Anticipating Algonquin Park and Beyond (An Early Morning Entry)

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I'm such a lucky guy... on so many levels!

Yesterday, when I called Helen from a rest stop an hour outside of Montreal there was happy confusion in her voice: "Oh, its today that you are coming.  The house is a mess and your room is just as it was the last time you were here."

I arrived, and it was if I'd never left.  Such care, interest in my life and the life of those connected to me, and a willingness to listen and ask questions that invite reflection.  Yes, I'm a lucky guy to have such friends in my life.

Such relationships, intimate relationships of care and concern, in my view ought never to be grounded on rights me may think we have as a result of the pre-existing relationship - but rather on questions that invite reflection and stories that tell a bit of who we are, what is important to us, what is troubling us and what we share in common in the world...

As I travel and relate to those I meet along the way on a daily basis, I claim no "right" t…

Morning of Departure: Get as Far Away As Fast As I Can...

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It rained overnight.  All was damp, fresh and new with possibility... go as
far as the tank will take you... get as far away as fast as you can... around Moncton, through Rogersville and the light began to change.  As the sun rose higher behind me, it seemed to light my way as the skies turned blue before me and shadows began to fall east to west pointing me toward my destination.

As the run rose the lingering scents of the night intensified... almost such that you could taste newness and growth...

The fuel light came on as I turned into the Shell station at the east end of the Renous Highway.  As is my custom - make every stop count.  Filled the tank and enjoyed two homemade sugar donuts and coffee as the sun continued to bring warmth to the land... and my spirit.

Ten clicks in the Renous Highway took me back in time... it turned to gravel.  Well, not really gravel - but chip seal - all the same when you are on a motorcycle!

There is a life lesson that comes through really clearly w…

A Preparatory Journey: To My Roots...

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This morning I set off with a friend on what I now understand was a preparatory journey... a walk back in time to sit at the base of a tree that is for me a marker of my rootedness in the Bruce family and the red soil of Prince Edward Island.
This large Elm tree sits at the base of a field which once belonged to my grandfather.  Each summer we made the trek from Ontario to Prince Edward Island there was always one other journey to make: to the tree to get our picture taken at its base.  One can see the years pass, styles come and go, and boys turn to men by looking at these pictures. And when my boys were small I tried to continue the practice.  It was a little more difficult as the land was no longer in the family and children being children they did not want to journey to the distant mosquito infested field - simply to have their picture taken.
This tree has long been a marker of rootedness for me.  In addition to the place to which we came for pictures, it was a place to which I c…

A New Journey...

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A short entry this morning as I begin to settle my heart on this inward journey of life I now find myself on, and begin to  prepare for the first of four adventures over the next four months.

Trip 1:  On Sunday July 26, I will leave on a motorcycle trip to Ontario.  My plan is to make Montreal Sunday night where I will spend the evening with Helen and Andrew (and Clancy).   On Monday I will meet my cousin Duane and his bride-to-be in Hawkesbury, ON, from there we will travel through Algonquin Park to Gravenhurst where I will spend the week visiting with family and preparing for the wedding on Saturday.
On the 2nd of August I will head down to Cambridge, ON for a visit with my Aunt Irene before heading up to the Kawartha Lakes region for a visit with my cousin Joey and his family... and then on Monday it will be a bum burner ride back to Sackville.

Trip 2: On Saturday August 8th after officiating at a Memorial Service I will head to Sydney, NS where I will catch the ferry to Newfoundland…