Thursday, March 08, 2012

A paddle yesterday...strength for today.

A tiny beach, Drumbeg Provincial Park on Gabriola Island.
 Every so often it happens, the "stars and planets" align. Which means (if you've been patiently waiting out the west-coast gales and rain) the opportunity presents itself...for a launch. Such was the happy case, yesterday - and the schedule was clear. The brisk wind from the north-west cleared the overcast, revealing a huge, almost-full moon in an azure sky. Although the temperature was still a cool 5 degrees C, the sun was warming on our dry suits and the paddling environment...well, the clear and cold waters almost "tropical", at least from the perspective of the camera lens.

Picture "tropical" perfect - for early March in Canada.
Time on the water, around the Flat Top Islands, was a good tonic. As most will agree, self-propelled movement brings a "good tired". Most importantly, such physical activity rejuvenates and brings renewed strength. Frequently, I need that.

I rarely speak, in this blog, about my vocation. As a parish minister, I have the opportunity to share with individuals and families, occasions of both great joy and great anguish. Today, for example, I spent time with a young family, struggling to find both identity and value in a society that can often exclude those who are "different" in any way. I visited with a second family, preparing to celebrate the life of a beloved father, a former pilot and base commander who served his country with distinction. In the afternoon, I listened to the words of loving grandmother, expressing her deep concern for a special grandchild. I visited in the hospital with a warm and engaging member of my parish family, very near the end of her life. In all these situations, I was deeply touched, and humbled.

Protected waters, east shore of Gabriola.
Many, who share my vocation, are strengthened by collegiality and mutual support.  For me, refreshment and respite comes from more solitary pastimes, such as time on the water and time on the trail. That "good tired" at the end of a great paddle, such as we had yesterday, translates into renewed strength for the important issues in the lives of those who entrust such matters to me. For that, I am deeply thankful.

Leaving the "lee", for the Salish Sea, and some fun in the swell.
A paddle yesterday, amongst the Flat Top Islands, brought strength for today...necessary strength.

I know that many of you will understand how that happens.

Peace be with you, my friends,



  1. Duncan, Thanks for sharing these thoughts with us.


  2. And also with you Duncan

    Kind Regards

  3. Mark and Ian, many thanks, I always appreciate your words. Duncan.

  4. Getting away and sharing peaceful quiet moments always rejuvinates and energizes a person. Looks like it was a great day on the water.

  5. Any vocation that brings peace to the life's of people is something amazing.

    you deserve any peace you can find out there.

  6. That it was, Linda, and I suppose "some" people have the same experience swimming in a river. Go figure, eh? :) D.

    Kind of you to say, Lee, thank you for that. I think we would have some good conversations on the water - have to make that happen some day. D.

  7. Hi Duncan and Joan,
    I have enjoyed your blogs. I really got a kick out of your feathered friends. Looks like you are both doing well. Keep up the good work!
    Jen from H.R. Alberta

  8. Thank you so much for that, Jen, wonderful to hear from you. And warmest wishes to you all from the two of us. D&J