The strong memory of places

House on Kildonan Drive, Jane's Walk 2014

House on Kildonan Drive, Jane’s Walk 2014

H. and I participated in one of Winnipeg’s 24 Jane’s Walks* this weekend: the one along Kildonan Drive North.  It was a chilly, rather overcast day, but a large group of us gathered to wander along a river street associated with North Kildonan’s rich or famous—names familiar to the Mennonite settlement here like Henry Redekop, A.A. DeFehr, George Janzen, Henry Krahn, and  those connected to pioneering and municipal leadership like J.M. Morton and Angus Matheson McKay. Continue reading

What I’ve Learned Picking Saskatoons

I’ve learned a few things while picking saskatoons, the sweet purple/red fruit of the saskatoon bush currently in season in Manitoba. These lessons may or may not be transferable to other endeavors.IMG_4027

1.Picking in a patch someone has discovered before you is slow hard picking. It’s akin to poor biblical Ruth gathering leftover grain behind the field harvesters. (My middle name is Ruth.) Nevertheless, dessert for supper can also be secured, if slowly, from one-here-one-there berries missed by the people who came before. Continue reading

One good humiliation a day

Franciscan writer Richard Rohr says, in Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, that for years he’s prayed for “one good humiliation a day.” He continues, “[A]nd then I must watch my reaction to it.” Rohr isn’t speaking of some masochistic desire for insult or injury, no 50 shades of gray implications here, but rather of a necessary exercise in the practice of an authentic life. The context is being real about oneself instead of trapped in the delusions of “any idealized role or self-image.” The word “humiliation” is built from the word “humble” whose root meaning is close to the ground, of the humus or earth. Human, that is. True to what one is. Continue reading