How Time Passes By … Montreal

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How Time Passes By … Montreal

In the sense of human emotion, time is relative, time is unpredictable. It frames the moments of our lives, with laughter and joy, with burden, loss, and hopefully with a balance that allows for a fulfilling and meaningful existence.

I have returned to my magical city, Montreal, in an inauspicious moment in time for me, the fourth anniversary of my husband’s death. I feel inexplicably drawn to this city, as bees to nectar. There is a bitter sweetness of memory here, one that carries me forward, yet lassoes me, pulling me back in time with memories of the time my husband and I last enjoyed this city together four years ago.

Walking the streets of Old Montreal, I drink in the energy of a culture that embraces the humanity of each encounter. I feel, in many ways, safe and secure here. I feel free. I breathe in my true self. I peek through my mask and feel the freedom to reveal my true existence – a woman who is living with half a heart, seeking the other half buried deep inside of an identity not yet fully revealed. 

My walk takes me through the silence of the old cobblestoned streets, shadowed by modern architecture begging to co-exist as a backdrop to centuries of the brick and mortar that gave the city its identity. The old and the new, the past and the present, birthing a new song of generational soul.

Montreal is an intimate city. Its bustling streets emulate a resurrection quality. The synergy of its bi-lingual nature draws me close to its soul, its neighborhoods speak to my sensory memories and propel me toward self-revitalization. This city begs to swallow you into its joie de vivre. There is a deep intimacy of relationship here, a caring for the wholeness of a diverse community moving in its own purposeful rhythm.

I feel blessed to be part of this rhythm. That rhythm of life is a big part of my journey toward my personal wholeness. And as I reflect on the past four years, I have experienced much more joy than sorrow. My circumstances of loss may not be unique to me, but I have been privileged to be surrounded by caring and loving family, friends and colleagues who have followed and supported me in my journey. It is a journey that has a path that twists and turns and forces me to mask and unmask my emotions, sometimes publicly, sometimes in solitary silence.

 So, I continue my journey. I take my wounds of grief, wounds that leave deep scars, but also deep memories of love. I also rejoice, knowing that the memories of my deep, loving, relationship will always sustain me. And as I continue to grow in my personal, singular identity, the power of that love will always be present to sustain me.

 



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Deep Waters and the Crashing Waves of God’s Love

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Deep Waters and the Crashing Waves of God’s Love

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you …”  Isaiah 43:2

I read somewhere that shallow waters are noisy and deep waters are silent. Sitting on a beach listening to the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the shore is a meditative holy moment for me. Wading into the deeper water, the silence expands, the view of the horizon shortens, and the waves undulate in their rhythm building from silence to powerful loud crashing water pulling the earth back into the sea.

There is a mighty power in that water. The continual crashing of waves can be deafening at times. As wave after wave crashes onto the sands, the relentless pounding rearranges each grain of sand over and over again. Just like the relentless crashing of the ocean’s waves, God pours out his love for us. Whether we are near or far from him, his love for us never ceases.

 Sometimes, God feels near to me and other times he feels far away. When I am in deep waters, I am reminded that God calls out to me on deeper level. He reaches into my very soul. His love is directed into those deep places within me that need it the most. When my soul is parched and weary, when I feel I cannot go on, his waves pick me up and carry me toward the shore.

 Can you hear the ocean waves? Will you let God pour that unending love over you? Sometimes, we need to step away to a place where we can hear God reaching out to us. One of those special places for me is the ocean shore.

 May the crashing waves of God’s love knock you over and submerge you and carry you away.

 Will you let God love you like that today?

  

Music: “Deep Waters” from “Nightfall” Jimmy Haslip and Joe Vannelli

2010 VIE Records

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The Journey of 1,000 Days

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The Journey of 1,000 Days

 

It is a puzzle … life. I walked beautiful Crane Beach in Ipswich, MA this past weekend - my annual tradition on the anniversary of my husband’s death. April 28, 2018 ended my journey of 1,000 days, bringing me to the end of a three-year journey of loss. The waves pounded the shoreline depositing the remains of broken shells and stones at my feet. Broken sand dollars were scattered about, their symmetrical beauty still captivating me.

I was reminded of my first walk on that beach 3 years ago. I had turned away from the pounding waves for a brief moment, and in an instant, the beach was covered with sand dollars. I’ll never forget that moment. It was as if God sent a message to me that day that I was not alone. The memory of that event still carries me through the many hills and valleys of emotions as I grieve.

It is hard to believe that it has been three years that my husband has gone to God. I journey alone, as a widow, as a single woman now. It has not been an easy journey. Even so, it has been an adventurous one. A new life, with new purpose and sometimes confusing direction. So many times I have questioned God, and the purpose of the direction of my solitary walk. So many times, I have felt euphoric for the joys of friendships and family. Yet other times, the decent into loneliness for my man has swallowed my heart and nipped at the very essence of my existence.

Rediscovery of oneself is messy. It is confusing. I have floundered many times, and yet, I have managed to come back and land on my feet like a cat. I ponder the newness of life -starting out again. I am a strong woman. But there are days where dark despair burrows deep into my heart. And then there are days when I rise above the darkness and soak in the light.

I don’t know when those days will come. I live in the moment. I stroll Crane Beach and I drink in the beauty of the creation before me. As I walk, changes are being made with each wave. The sand at the mercy of the water. The landscape, ever-changing. I am like that, too. Forever being molded and changed as part of God’s plan.

Sometimes I feel like a clam shell just ready to burst open and show the world that I am present, even when I am not sure what that presence is. Sometimes that shell needs to remain tightly closed. I am not the person I was before. I am not the same woman. I am whole yet broken. Lost yet found. I am the sand dollar, broken by the waves, yet resilient in my journey. One thousand days. The journey continues.

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Becke Drake

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