Wednesday, 22 June 2016

The Care of the Earth

"The care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy, and after all our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it and to foster its renewal is our only hope." Wendell Berry  

I discovered author, poet, and culture critic Wendell Berry about three years ago. I read through his novel "Hannah Coulter" at lightning speed during summer time, and I soaked up all of his beautiful sentences and the way he weaves nature and caring for land into his writing. Then, this past winter I read "That Distant Land," a collection of short stories based around a community of farmers and their families. His writing is pure and elegant and poignant. I loved his fiction, and gobbled it up happily. Then! I found out from a friend that he ALSO writes non-fiction. My heart fluttered and I knew I had to get my hands on something. 

It began with a borrowed copy of "The Unsettling of America," borrowed from said generous friend, also a big fan of Wendell Berry. I loved it. I read through about three quarters of Berry's cultural critique and down to earth perspective, and his wisdom is astounding. 

So, happily, I recently ordered "The Art of the Commonplace," a collection of agrarian essays, which should arrive this week! Cue the excitement! Not only has this wonderful, wonderful author helped shape my perspective, but he continues to inspire me, challenge me, and make just-before-bed-night-time-reading one of the best parts of the day. 

The earth, the soil, the plants, the process of sowing and harvesting, is good, because our Creator is good. 
Much love, Vivi 

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Picnic in the Park

Meet my babe of a friend, Hannah, who casually flicks her hair in response to a clicking camera and has excellent choice in both leather bags and glamorous sunglasses. In one word, she is fabulous, and I am so thankful to call her my friend (since Grade 10!) 

Quite a few weeks ago we took advantage of some glorious sunshine and brought a picnic to a local park. The spread included veggies, cheese and crackers, fruit, iced coffees, and hummus. It was an afternoon spent talking and eating and talking and eating- the best kind of afternoon. 

Much love, Vivi 

Monday, 6 June 2016

Chopin Has Something To Say

Why, hello! Greetings! Yes, we do know each other- it has just been a VERY long time! The month of May held moving houses (cue the deep cleaning and organization), studying/tests/digging deep into physics, volunteering with some pretty wonderful organizations, and now, preparing for my Biology honors project with some reading, reading, and READING! 

Exciting times.

Really, I love what I am doing! If asked in a game of would you rather if I would rather read about treatments for rare genetic conditions or relax by a pool all day.. I would pick the reading (by the pool of course.. ;) 

Our new house is wonderful. There is a creek that runs through the backyard, a garden of mint, jasmine, bamboo... It's stunning. I've already given "tours" of the backyard to friends, and I think I probably beam the whole way. Nature is a beautiful expression of God's grace and creativity. I'm so happy to be able to live here surrounded by reminders of God's goodness.

Not being in the thick of the academic year gives me some much needed thinking time. I've been thinking about many aspects of my life, how I spend my time, what I'd like to do differently, continue doing, and different goals for the short term and long term. And while doing so, Chopin has been keeping my ears company. Just as the sights of nature provide visual reminders of God's goodness, the sounds of Chopin make my ears just as sure. 

Much love, Vivi 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Endings & Beginnings

It is bittersweet to say goodbye to a cherished home, yet a complete joy to say hello to a new one. For me, it's not so much the house itself but the surrounding nature; there are dandelions that run rampant at the beginning of spring, an apple blossom tree that attracts birds of all kinds, and an endless view of fields of green seen from the back deck. Despite it's beauty, for years I never saw the glory of Creation that is so very obvious now. It was simply a "tree" or a "field" but never held the weighty meaning that meets me whenever I look upon it now. 

This season not only holds saying goodbye to a house, but saying a triumphant goodbye to a year of University. I can happily say that there were no all-nighters, but there was more chocolate eating and coffee drinking than I'd like to admit.. Today marks the second Tuesday of summer 2016, and I am full of expectancy and excitement for this full summer. God is so good! 

Much love, Vivi 

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Spring Came Like Sunday Morning

Spring Came Like Sunday Morning
A freshness, a peace, a quiet.
There was the light, the birds, the end of the frost.
There were the people, the person, the faces, the stories.
Spring announced itself with a joyous celebration 
Of newness
And my soul smiled, because
Like Sunday Morning, Spring came 
To Praise
To Celebrate
To end the gloom of winter 
To give a new rest, a new song 

Much love, Vivi 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Take a Step Back

It is past 11pm on a rainy Thursday evening. The house is quiet and everyone except this typing night owl are fast sleep. After the activities of tomorrow are complete, I will have 6 weeks of the Winter 2016 semester behind me. Okay, one of those weeks was reading break, but that week held an enormous amount of schoolwork, so I'd say it counts... :)

I can honestly say that I've learned a lot this semester, and I'm not only talking about organic chemistry and social psychology.. These past few weeks have held much more. What have I learned, you ask? Well, let's take a step back...

1. Even when you feel slapped in the face with a grade, still be kind to your professors. Take as much as you can out of it. Even if you poured your life into a paper and didn't get a grade that reflects that, try your hardest to make the most of the situation. In the words of one very wise woman (mom.. :) shoot for excellence, not perfection. 

2. Coffee is amazing. 

3. So is lemon loaf.

4. Even if you have to muster up a bucketful of courage, talk to new people around you. So many people just need someone to listen to them and show an interest. 

5. When your day has been long and your feet are sore and all you feel like doing is resting, then rest. Watch an episode of Fixer Upper and your day will become infinitely better. I'm not much of a TV watcher, so this is a big deal folks. Make yourself a coffee or an earl grey tea and thank God for the ability to take a break. 

6. When all you can think about is a problem of your own, go and do something for another person. 

7. Just because it's a no now does not make it a no forever.

Much love, Vivi 

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Christmas Bits & Pieces (But Mostly Food)

Christmas this year was simply beautiful. We woke up early and started the morning off with tea, coffee, and British mince pies, a family tradition we have enjoyed for years. We made our home in the living room for a few hours of joyful present opening, laughing, and eating Christmas goodies, sharing the story behind each gift. 

2015 has been a very eventful year. Having a peaceful Christmas like this one was an amazing blessing. I love my family. We're a closely knit, quirky, silly, unique, conversation-loving bunch, I must say. And I wouldn't have it any other way. 

Much love, Vivi