By the Waters of Galilee

Among the delights of a summer spent home in Canada, squeezed between two years in China, was a weekend with the Baha’is in a little town near my capital home. Summer school: reunion, reflection, prayer and conversation, kids and laughter and sun through the trees. We talked and studied and played in a gorgeous riverside retreat, an oasis of Christian calm and service garnished with pine trees and sparkling waters. Sweet.

Bernie took his canoe, for dawn prayers of the paddling kind. Dona brought tennis rackets, and found a hitting partner slightly less disastrous than his bride. Rhonda retreated from just having packed her life to go to Pakistan – two weeks before the deluge. Wee Carmel brought her brown astonished eyes, and we were grateful. Our family circle grew, like a deep breath in, inspiration, maybe for a few days, possibly beyond. Nobody watched TV.

I watched clouds and learned from faces. I listened to spirited seminars and conversations blown through the woods. I try to see and hear them now, in the midst of the city millions, the car horns and the concrete and the day’s discourse that I don’t understand. I am in Dalian. I am in China. But I spent a few divine days in Galilee.