|A gift from our parish family...a fabric depiction|
of one of the stained glass windows - with kayaks added. :)
These are emotional days, as we transition from full-time parish ministry into a period of our lives that we are defining as "reconfiguration". The word "retirement" doesn't really fit as we are sure there is much more to come, probably less than full time, in or related to our respective vocations of ministry and social work practice.
Years ago, while serving as a military chaplain on an air force base, I overheard our six-year old son and two of his neighbouring friends talking in the back yard of our home on the base. They were comparing what their fathers did when they went to work. Said one young lad,"My dad's a fighter pilot." To which the other replied, "Yeah, my dad's a pilot too." Our son, offered rather matter-of-factly, "Well, my dad doesn't actually have a job. He's a padre." :)
My son was correct. Despite the fact that I had spent six years in university, undertaken the same basic training, was subject to the same postings both domestic and overseas, worked weeks on end without a day off (particularly on army postings), and went to the "office" the majority of days in any given week - it never felt like a "job". It was a calling, and it was one that I have deeply loved and cherished for some thirty-six years.
|The sun rising over the Southern Gulf Islands,|
an arbutus tree and the forested, off-shore islands.
|We "paddle on", but a piece of our hearts will always remain.|
(We have a spare kayak for any who would like to join us!)
In the meantime, a very special friend, who has become as a sister to me, has wisely advised us to launch the kayaks - soonest. She knows that in doing so, there will be opportunity, on the ocean, for us to process all that is happening...and at least some of what is to come. She has also made a commitment to invite us to dinner at least once a month for the next three months. As her "older" brother, I'm going to hold her to it. :)
To express the full depth of feeling would require more than words...but perhaps this post and some reflections from the kayak cockpit will be a small beginning, on a journey about to begin.
The fabric art was created by Joy and Evelyn. We cherish it, thank you both...and thank you all at DUC.