Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Riviere des Prairies... Twenty Years Later

A scene that has changed little since the 1960's

What were once pretty meadows and hay fields are now completely overgrown with brush and young trees. These trails along the river are very overgrown from lack of use. Nonetheless as I nostalgically walk these disused trails, I am reminded of a train travelling over a railway track that has become overgrown in the same manner and is about to be abandoned. I keep forgetting that twenty years ago this summer was the last occasion I last walked these trails.

What appears to be poison ivy grows everywhere in abundance. At least this pile of rocks beside the river is shaded and deserted; a welcome shelter from the unrelenting July sun. Oddly enough, the river today does not have that repugnant smell of sewage that used to pervade the shoreline. The river is not clean by any means but the water does not smell as polluted as it used to.  

Days come now when I look in the mirror and do not recognize who I am looking at. The passing years have changed me from how I have perceived myself to be. The youthful person I think I am has gone. Life through the 30’s has definitely been a marked contrast to what was life through the teen years; between 15 and 39 has seen the passing of almost a quarter of a century. A quarter century sounds like such a long time and yet it seems to have passed by as if so little.

At one time I used to desire a life of wealth and fame, however I have learned to look at both in fear and terror instead of envy; the fear of the responsibility and the terror of accountability to God for both. In the comfort of anonymity and simplicity of my life I have much to be grateful for and thankful for, but many days both happiness and contentment always seem to be just beyond my grasp.

What are these feelings of unquelled longings? What are they? Why do I live with what feels like a constant homesickness? And what could I possibly be homesick for?

I am restlessly confused by these unwanted feelings which I cannot explain or rationalize. I am haunted and baffled by these questions for which I do not know the answers. I am confronted by the stark truth that time and change have not stopped.

Does God truly want us to be happy and content?

I suppose the first questions should be to ask, “Happy with what?” or “content with what?”

Do the stones get softer with every passing day?

Is the need to be forgiven greater than the need to forgive?

Perhaps one of God’s gifts is the spiritual wisdom to be able to discern between these two needs and only to discover that they are inseparable.

“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
(Matthew 6:14-15)

Written in July 31, 1993, 
while visiting Pierrefonds, Quebec
The Oddblock Station Agent

Addendum June 03, 2014

May 31, 2014 - Riviere des Prairies with Ile Bizard on the other side. This view has changed little over 50 years.

No comments:

Post a Comment