Thursday, February 01, 2007

Meeting tonight

Well, January is over, thank goodness. What a month that was, full of personal bad news, technical problems and financial nightmares. Still, the clouds are lifting (literally and figuratively), and February promises to be much, much better, for which we're grateful.

Everyone has been very patient with my new indulgence of regularly posting photos taken during my weekly wanderings in order to bask in the beauty of my city and its surrounding scenery. It's been good therapy, in fact it is surprisingly invigorating. You've got to admit, Vancouver has some breath-taking sights to see! I always feel rewarded and renewed from every walk undertaken to connect with my city and its environs.

Tonight, we meet in one of the nicest places to meet, the atrium of the Central branch of the Vancouver Public Library. We've met for a full year now, to talk about the challenges faced by our little piece of the world. It's been quite an education, a fitting result for meetings taking place in the shadow of such a monument to the celebration of learning.

I will confess to a ritual that I had developed back in the 1990s: I stand in the atrium of this library, and make a point of looking up at the towering 7 floors of books, while asking myself how much I know about the knowledge and ideas contained in those thousands (tens of thousands?) of books. Not much, would come the honest answer; then I could off and not take myself and my little problems too seriously for the rest of the week, for how could I deny the comparison I had just put myself through? At the same time, that comforting humility was balanced by a yearning to try and fill the hole, climb that tower of knowledge and feast on its banquet of ideas and experiences.

Similar experiences color each and every meeting we've undertaken since last January.

Connecting to the fellow Covenanters, those who come regularly and those who only come once in a while, not to mention those who have only come once, all such connections leave one rewarded and renewed, seeing our world through new eyes, understanding it as rife with new opportunities.

If you are reading this, you are invited to participate as well. Our meeting starts at 7:00, lasting until they kick us out at 9:00 pm. We wear blue scarfs to make ourselves recognized, a symbol of peace worn in solidarity with like-minded fellows in France, who meet in equally beautiful places of their own.
See you there!


dag said...

Looking forward to seeing you then.

tiberge said...

@ charles

May you all have another fruitful meeting. I hope your problems are far behind you.

I've noticed the photos - they're beautiful and I hope you continue. They add so much. A Canadian website should be full of photos. Down here people forget easily about nature and the outdoors. During the better part of my 30 years as a teacher, I was in buses, subways, classrooms, inner-city neighborhoods and my own flat. Such a life becomes limiting and depressing. Nature revives our belief in transcendant forces.

Still no snow.

Charles Henry said...

Thank you, Tiberge

Our snow has come and gone, except on the mountains.
You are so right about the value in stepping out of an urban environment in order to soak up the beauty of a more natural setting once in a while. In Vancouver we're so lucky that nature is right on our doorstep, or even right out the window, ready to appreciate. Each time I go to work here I feel like I keep being given the world's most beautiful commute, what with all the mountains, forests, and water and seaside views.

And thank you for the reassuring note about the pictures! I was worried that my photos would be taking on the unwelcome attributes of someone's boring home movies... I like posting them as an additional way to relax and feel grateful for our bountiful, beautiful views.