Sundays have always been wonderful days, but they’re really making a name for themselves this year. Sundays are my Sabbath days. I’ve been doing the whole Sabbath thing for four or five years now. Before you tell me you're impressed at my depth of spiritual discipline, I must confess that it’s more of a sanity-preserver than a spiritual discipline for me. I can seriously picture God saying, (to himself, in plural, because of the whole Trinity thing) “We’d better include some verses in the Bible about taking a day of rest, because Beth’s going to come along, and unless she has a day when she knows she can’t do any work, she’s going to drive herself mad with guilt every time she’s not working.” Yep, that’s just the way I am. Danice and I balance each other out well because she’s always trying to get herself to do work and I’m always trying to make myself stop. All of this to say… taking a day of rest has kept me marginally sane through college.
Except, actually, now that I think of it, I did do some work today. I washed half the dishes. They finally got to me. My roommates and I have become overly skilled at stacking dirty dishes on our 2-foot square counter space, compacting them and permitting many days to pass before washing becomes an absolute necessity. I know, it’s disgusting. But I feel that it is an entirely expected part of a basement-suite-dwelling- full-time-student’s life to let dishes pile up, and this is one expectation I will live up to.
But I’m off topic already. Sunday. Well, obviously, I go to church in the morning. Church is great. But my favorite part about church the last two Sundays has been walking home from it. This is a new tradition I’ve started, and it will be hopefully be regular, but most likely weather-dependent. It’s about an hour and fifteen minute walk. (See, any other day, I wouldn’t walk that far, because taking the bus would be faster, giving me more time to get homework and reading done, but because I’m not allowed to do that stuff on Sunday, I can walk. Get it?) My only rule when walking is that I have to say hi to everyone I pass on the street, even the awkward ones who try so hard to avoid making eye contact - this practice is inspired in part by a post on Tall Jordan’s blog. I take a different route home each time, and mostly what I do is pick up leaves. I might actually start calling it “leafing”. Lindsey Fox is another distinguished leafer. I pick up leaves whose shape and/or color I like. My Bible ends up doubling as a temporary leaf press, which I think is a very good second use for a Bible. You know… bringing together the two Books, the World and the Word. (A little bit of dorky Regent humor for you there.) I have no idea what I’ll do with all of these leaves. Any ideas?
Today I learned two new trees, whilst I was leafing. I asked a lady what they were - a poor innocent bystander, subjected to my nerdy curiosity. Catalpa and Liriodendron. The Indian Bean Tree and the Tulip Tree. It’s crazy, because I dissected the flower of the Tulip Tree in my Botany class. That’s the third species dissected in the U of S biology program that’s turned up here. Here I thought they were bringing us strange specimens from all corners of the globe, but no, it seems they had a Vancouver distributor. I can’t say I’m disappointed. If you’re going to get species from somewhere, you might as well get them from Vancouver. There’s a lot of them just sort of lying around the place.
I keep getting distracted. Back to Sunday. Sunday has long been the day to phone home to the family, a tradition started way back in Belgium in 2001. It’s a highlight of Sunday, because I get to catch up and talk to whichever family members happen to be lazing around. And sometimes I get advice, like today when my dad told me that maybe I’d be able to find a boyfriend (or at least a date) if I told boys I was interested in going to a Canucks game… I also got to talk on the phone with my best friend not once, but twice today. Sunday Sunday.
For the rest of Sunday, I usually do whatever I feel like doing. I try to not watch TV…but today I discovered a nature documentary that comes on at 2:00, so that might become a new tradition. I listen to music. I put pieces of dark chocolate in my mouth and let my tea wash over and melt them into my tastebuds, like the Belgians taught me. I read books that I actually WANT to read. I read people’s blogs and write my own. Sometimes I pull out my guitar and fool around. I become my most introverted self, completely enjoying being alone in my room. I’m in the Sabbath zone.
(Oh, and every second Sunday night, I take the SkyTrain to New West to go to a service called Rock Garden (yeah, weird name) where a great band plays, and a great Regent prof, Rikk Watts, basically gives a free hour-long lecture. If you'd like to spend an hour listening to him, visit http://the-rockgarden.com/?Audio:Living_Against_the_Grain.)
Well, that’s all I have to say about that. And I hear there is occasion for a little bit of Rider Pride tonight. Yeah Saskatchewan! Don’t you love when people like me who don’t follow sports or cheer anyone on suddenly get all excited at playoff time? So, Dad, maybe I’ll have to invite some boys out to BC Place for some football, instead of hockey. Except that I’ll be cheering for the “wrong” team…
(This last pic is Rachel's, included in memory of very different, snow-filled, Saskatoon Sundays, with Wesley the funny-shaped guitar and the Blue Lagoon... I miss them both... I mean all three - rachel too)