Friday, October 30, 2015

Autumn in Vancouver

Today’s coffee: I don’t know what it was, but once it’s gone, I can open the coffee I bought at Murchie’s!

It’s been a while. We went to Victoria and Vancouver, and since we’ve been back, we’ve been preparing for an event at church this Sunday—Japanese Culture Day. It will be lunch, stories, games, shamisen, and more! Fun!

I started writing something last weekend while we were on the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria… but I kept getting distracted by the horrible children’s show that was playing on one TV, and the hockey game on the other.

I did, however, manage a poem, inspired by our day-off-date location last week, Van Dusen Gardens, where we went on lots of dates when we lived in Vancouver. It’s a tanka, a Japanese form, 5-7-5-7-7. It’s longer than a haiku, so I like that I can say a bit more.
Fat raindrops splatter,
Crying my unshed teardrops,
Flooding the dry ground.
A brief moment passes, then—
Sun flickers through golden leaves.
I’ve written several tanka lately. I like about tanka and haiku that I can use an image from nature to reflect something I’m thinking about or feeling. Autumn gives lots of possibilities, if I pay attention. The weather and scenery at Van Dusen Gardens suited my state of mind very nicely.

Last week was crazy. I’m still tired. We met lots of friends, hung out at home in our old house with our landlord-family, presented at a couple of missions conferences, and I preached at our Vancouver church home. There were so many wonderful moments of fellowship, mixed up with waves of grief as we remembered the life we left behind there. Our friends’ kids got so big! And everyone sang the hymns at church with such joy… I cried at least twice during the service, thankfully not while I was preaching.

Our friends' kids got so big...
That’s our life: a crazy mixture of joy and grief. The reason the grief hurts so much is because we have loved and been loved so much.

On an entirely different note, one fun surprise from our trip was meeting Mimi, whose husband, Jamie Taylor, was the keynote speaker at several of the events. (Of course, we enjoyed meeting him too.) Mimi is my sempai at Boston University—she studied music there too! It was such an encouragement to talk to her and to hear her sing. Of course I’ve met other missionaries from Regent, but she is the first I’ve met from BU.

Our Vancouver-based colleague, Gary, Mimi and Jamie Taylor, us, and a great big birthday cake for OMF!
I can't resist a couple of food pictures too. We ate really well.

High tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria. The most recent Empress to have tea there was the Empress of Japan, in case you were wondering.
Pumpkin pie brûlée at The Shaughnessy Restaurant, next to Van Dusen Gardens. Highly recommended.

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