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Musings: "If This Isn't Nice, I Don't Know What Is!"

On Sunday, as part of the Thanksgiving Sunday gathering, I offered a reflection in which I suggested that, “What we are accustomed to, we don’t notice and what we don’t notice, we won’t be grateful for.”

I then told a story that Kurt Vonnegut told of his uncle Alex, “… when we were doing something such as drinking lemonade under an apple tree in the summer, and talking lazily about this and that, Uncle Alex would suddenly interrupt and exclaim, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’”

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.

As the reflection ended I invited those present to jot down on index cards, those things that they were looking forward to, those moments that they wanted to be fully present for… to prepare to notice that which is not to be taken for granted. Here are a sampling of some of the cards.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is: Visits with friends. Quiet times, time to quilt and sew and create. Savouring good food. The satisfaction of work well done. My beloved.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is: meeting new people and remembering their names, the changing of the natural environment around me.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is: the smell of woodsmoke, the devotion and energy of my partner, the faces of babies and cats, laughter, desire and times to rest.

If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is: times of rehearsal, the reading of books, walking and moments of quiet and rest.

What about you? What do you want to be fully present for? What do you want to be sure to pause for and exclaim, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’?



Looking Ahead

On Monday after two of the girls headed back to school and the other two were occupied Jennifer and I headed over to PEI for a visit with my mom and dad where we shared a bowl of turkey soup and conversation before heading back home later that afternoon. It was an afternoon of "If this isn't nice, I don't know what is!"

This morning I was in the office for two meetings. After lunch I made my way home where I could write without distraction and I will work here until a scheduled meeting at 3PM. This evening at 8PM I am looking forward first event in the 40 Days of Engagement on Anti-Racism, An Evening with Desmond Cole.

Wednesday morning I look forward to greeting the folk from Open Sky and all who will join in Seniors Sharing the Table! Come on over for coffee and refreshments at 10AM. The Seniors Sharing the Table Steering Committee will meet at 11AM after which I will set out on the first of four pastoral visits for the day.

Thursday, as has become a very helpful practice, I will work from home crafting the liturgy and reflection for Sunday. The text for this coming Sunday can be found here and at this moment I am leading toward focusing on the stories of Jacob and the persistent widow.

Friday and Saturday will be days off and on Sunday we'll gather again at 11AM in community to be support and encourage one another - hope to see you then!

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