Tuesday, July 31, 2018 – The Better Work

Let gratitude be the pillow upon which you kneel to say your nightly prayer. And let faith be the bridge you build to overcome evil and welcome good.

Maya Angelou, Celebrations: Rituals of Peace and Prayer

We stop at the green grocer, on our way to the library, to pick up carrots and apples. I spy boxes of field tomatoes piled high and can’t resist lifting a cardboard lid to have a peek. The temptation to buy a box or two is strong, but I resist. There will be time for canning after Camp G and G is wrapped. For now, the more important work is making memories.

She hits the jackpot at the library, finding five new books. I was wrong when I thought she brought home more books than she would have time to read two weeks ago. We sit and play a couple of games—Battleship and Connect Four—then a herd of children arrive and it becomes too much.

”It’s getting too busy. Let’s go, Grandma.”

We hit the mall and, arm in arm, browse through displays of shoes and handbags. She tries on a hat, and a couple of fancy schmancy heels. We admire pretty necklaces, and earrings she will one day be able to wear in her newly pierced ears. The children’s clothing department is less interesting, but we find a thing or two to reluctantly start the back-to-school shopping.

“It’s a long time until school starts. This probably won’t fit by then.” In these words there is a measure of wisdom, a reminder of the endless summers of childhood, and I’m reminded to stay in the moment a little while longer.

We make a few stops, but decide to forgo harvesting at the garden—at 41C / 106F, it’s way too hot. At home we sit in the shade on the lawn swing and eat ice cream cones. I find containers we can use for swimming pools and we sit on the relative cool of the patio stones and play Barbies.

Grandpa arrives home and I’ve got to figure out a Plan B for supper since there was no harvest so, while he helps her clean up the Barbies and gives her gymnastics pointers, I cook up a pasta sauce. We sit at the table, eat spaghetti and talk about favourites and bests and wishes and gratitude, and solidify some of those memories.

Then we curl up with ice cream to watch another gymnastics movie on Netflix and, despite my best effort, my eyes grow heavy and I catch a few winks before it ends. We tuck her into bed, and she chooses from the five new library books, and I think it’s entirely likely that she’ll read long past the time I put my own book down for the night.

I step outside onto the back deck where it’s still hot and noticeably darker than it was at this time just a short while ago. Day is done. Love has been abundant, wisdom has been spoken of, and memories have been made. The better work has been accomplished.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things and the thin places where faith intersects.

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