Sunday, December 26, 2010

On Pause

It’s that funny time of year where the busyness of life gets put on a longish pause for Christmas celebrations. If Christmas falls mid-week, it tends feels like a weekend, which is a bonus because you still get the weekend anyway. If Christmas falls on a weekend there's still a bit of a bonus because then things start unwinding from Thursday onward. So either way, Christmas creates a pause in most people's routine.

The "Christmas pause” lends itself well to taking stock of the past year’s (and years’) events. I always find myself comparing where we are now to where we were a year ago, 5 years ago, and so on. This year, the reminiscing drove me to scan some old black and white photos of some of my childhood Christmases.

They say that many things throughout our lives are measured by our first experiences with them. I'd say that is also true of Christmases.

Here’s a photo of one of the earliest Christmases I remember, set in the beautiful coastal mountain range in B.C., Canada.

(My brother, my sister, and me...with my first medical bag :))

The air was fresh, the snow—perfect snowman/snowball quality, and the smell of wood smoke often hung in the air from some or other home’s fireplace. THAT…has been a tall order for subsequent Christmases to meet, especially considering most of them have been spent in the tropics. Snow and snowballs are a bit of a rarity here!

But the wonderful thing about Christmas is that it is not only celebrated on the outside. It is celebrated on the inside, in one’s heart, as well. And while I find that my earliest Christmas may have the upper hand when measured on the outside, on the inside, each and every subsequent Christmas has been celebrated with a much deeper appreciation for the Child who was given to us whose name is: Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Since the week has been put on pause for the last few days, I’ll post a few photos of some of our pre-pause and mid-pause moments.

Tony and Leila, friends from Maputo, came to spend a few days here last week.

Leila enjoying a few moments with the ladies and children at the mission's grinding mill (below), located by the school and new clinic.

While showing them around, we popped in and checked progress on the mission school's health post.

Pindurai, one of our sponsored students who has an artistic flair, busy painting the walls.

While on the veranda one night last week, I discovered a most beautiful sky just waiting to be photographed. I didn’t even come close to capturing its awesomeness, but here are some of my humble attempts.

Above photo: part of Orion at the top and the moon peeping through the trees at the bottom.

Moon behind the trees to the right, and a few cloud puffs floating by.

Our orphaned klipspringer, who is still with us, goes “on pause” quite often when he needs a break from his busy life of bottle-feeding, grazing, running, jumping and bunting.

He has a fine pair of pointy little horns starting up, so we’re busy devising a scheme to handle the bunting part before we get seriously jabbed! Him bunting is cute, for now, but it won’t be for long.

(If you look closely you can see the one tiny horn poking out above his eye, just to the right of the black diamond on his forehead.)

Last paragraph = eeby jeeby ☺

This is our buggy, spidery time of the year where the difference between a “swept and de-webbed” house and a "buggy, spider webbed" one is measured in mere seconds. All you have to do is turn your back and they get busy moving back inside. And I’m not kidding about that.

Thankfully this one was outside. This guy spun his fabulous web across our driveway during the night. We took the web down for obvious reasons. Sorry big guy :S

That’s it for now. Happy Holidays everyone. I’m going on pause for just a while longer!

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