Since 2016 Jennifer and I have been vacationing on the shore of the Northumberland Strait, strategically located where we are blessed to be able to witness the setting sun.
For the first three years we rented a cottage from a lifelong friend of Jennifer’s, first for a week and then for two weeks. Many memories were made in these weeks of carefree life on the beach – so many so, that in June of 2018 I sold my motorcycle and we bought a travel trailer, hoping to find a location where we could make more such memories.
You can imagine our joy when the same lifelong friend informed us in the depth of winter that we could rent a space on their lot to place our trailer. We were overjoyed – and so it was that the summer of 2019 saw us making memories and enjoying sunsets from our own deck.
This reflecting began with a collection of sunset images, one of the many from each of the past six years.
Why sunsets? Why not sunrises or campfires? Why is it that almost each evening at the cottage I am compelled to take photo of the sunset?
First, I think it is the glow of gratitude. Summer days at the shore are simple: wake when you want, eat when you’re hungry, swim when you are hot and quench your thirst when needed! The only external elements one needs to attend to are the wind and tides: put in the awing if it is gusting too hard, walk on the beach with Rasta when the tide is low and either go fishing or swim when the tide is high… yes there is the black tank that needs attending to but I’d rather not think about that for a while!
Second is the sense of completion that come in a sunset. Day is done and on an evening when the atmosphere is just right one can feel both the sense of the earth exhaling at the end of the day and being embraced by the goodness and beauty of all that is.
Today is my first day back and I am feeling well rested after many such moments of gratitude and being surrounded by goodness and beauty! Hopefully being rested and refreshed will prepare me for continued ministry in a world fraught with grief, climate crises, a provincial and federal election, earthquakes and political upheaval half a world away.
May it be so,
Today I am in the office responding to the many emails that have filled my inbox while I was away. Thank you for your patience as I respond. I am also connecting with those who have lost loved ones over the past few weeks and I invite you to join me in holding the following in care and prayer: Jerry and Stephen on the death of Jerry’s mom, Dorothy Hicks; Sandra and her family on the death of her mom Muriel Briggs; and Mary Moores and her family, the death of her husband Lloyd.
Tomorrow I will be officiating at the funeral of Heather Wilkes. Heather was a teacher in Amherst and member of Trinity St. Stephen United Church. Later in the day I will be meeting with another family to plan a funeral for their loved one.
Wednesday will be another office day, catching up and planning for Sunday and on Thursday I will be to a meeting in Moncton in the morning followed by a meeting with a couple to plan their wedding for later in the month! Congratulations Corey and Shane!
Friday and Saturdays will be days off and I am so excited to think that (if all goes well) we’ll be able to have all six of our children in the same place for an afternoon! As of Saturday it will have been 649 days since I last saw Zachary… and yes, I am just a little bit excited to see him! And yes, I will be taking a couple of days next week to spend some time with him!
And on Sunday I’ll be back behind the pulpit at 10am so excited to see all who join in-person and via Facebook Live!
Thank you to the Worship and Sanctuary Committee for arranging pulpit supply for my vacation and an even bigger thank you to all who offered leadership on Sunday mornings: Gathering Gaw, Gary MacDonald, Jennie Del Motte and Laura Hunter!