I’ve taken a break from writing my blog for the past couple of months. I’ve been immersed in my theology studies and activities at school and in community. Life has been so rich in the living of it that I haven’t felt compelled to write about what has been going on. But I’ve started to feel that longing again to write, so I will continue as I can amidst the hustle and bustle of life.
Centre Island amusement park closed up for the winter.
One of the great treasures I have been enjoying is the gift of friendship. I feel very wealthy in friends these days, which is a big shift from when I moved to Toronto four years ago and knew practically no one. Bit by bit, I have met a wonderful miscellany of people – at school, in the community, and through various ministries – and I have been blessed to make a number of good friends. People who ask interesting questions, who laugh with me, and who challenge me to try new things and to see life from different perspectives.
Petite admiring the Canadian autumnal flora.
At home, I feel especially blessed by friendship. I have been growing deeper in friendship with the younger sisters who are living in the Loretto community – Melinda, Maria, and Petite. I feel such a shift in my heart these past few months. After feeling lonesome for so much of last year, lonesome for peer relationships, and female friendships, in particular, I find myself gifted with these fantastic women and a joyful solidarity.
With Melinda and Petite.
A couple of weeks ago we went out to Centre Island to enjoy the autumn day. It was a great adventure – a time for spiritual conversation, laughter, and discovery. Being with these women made me think of Mary Ward, who was ‘apt for friendship’ and who said, ‘Let thy love be at all times rooted in God and then remain faithful to thy friend and value him highly, even more highly than thy life’.
Following the boardwalk to Ward’s Island.
And, of course, I also thought of Malcolm Guite, who wrote about old ways renewed by friends, in “Prayer/Walk”:
A hidden path that starts at a dead end,
Old ways, renewed by walking with a friend,
And crossing places taken hand in hand,
The passages where nothing need be said,
With bruised and scented sweetness underfoot
And unexpected birdsong overhead,
The sleeping life beneath a dark-mouthed burrow,
The rooted secrets rustling in a hedgerow,
The land’s long memory in ridge and furrow,
A track once beaten and now overgrown
With complex textures, every kind of green,
Land- and cloud-scape melting into one,
The rich meandering of streams at play,
A setting out to find oneself astray,
And coming home at dusk a different way.