1. My sister is coming home today! Huzzah! She has been in
Africa for FAR too long, and tonight she comes home! Praise the Lord! Here she is with some of the Ethiopian women, who work in the ktichen, at the orphanage.
Sadly, she wont be home for too long... she is off to BC quite quickly... however to see her is going to be a delight. Toot Toot! (this has become a signature mark of sheer joy... the tooting - as in a horn, not a small fart.)
2. I am reading "Surprised by Joy" by C.S. Lewis, and happened upon one of my most favourite descriptions EVER - and though long, I would like to invite all of you to enjoy it with me. I love the way that Lewis writes. It is almost as if he is sitting in a comfy chair beside me, narrating, in a conversational way, the experiences and visions of his life... amazing... Here is what I discovered in this GEM of a book today:
Now step a little way - only two fields and a cross a lane and up to the top of the bank on the far side - and you will see, looking south with a little east in it, a different world. And having seen it, blame me if you can for being a romantic. For here is the thing itself, utterly irresistible, the way to the world's end, the land of longing, the breaking and blessing of hearts. You are looking across what may be called, in a certain sense, the plain of Down, and seeing beyond it the Mourne Mountains...Enjoy the world, my peeps... I hope at the end of my life, I am able to describe life, or a landscape, or an experience, as he does... or at least remember it that vividly, even when words may fail me...
Here is the recipe for imagining it. Take a number of medium sized potatoes and lay them down (one layer of them only) in a flat-bottomed tin basin. Now shake loose earth over them till the potatoes themselves, but not the shape of them, is hidden; and of course the crevices between them will now be depressions of earth. Now magnify the whole thing till those crevices are large enough to conceal each its stream and its huddle of trees. And then, for colouring, change your brown earth into the chequered pattern of fields, always small fields (a couple of acres each), with all their normal variety of crop, grass, and plough.
You have now got a picture of the 'plain' of Down, which is a plain only in this sense that if you were a very large giant you would regard it as level but very ill to walk on - like cobbles. And now remember that every cottage is white. The whole expanse laughs with these little white dots; it is like nothing so much as the assembly of white foam caps when a fresh breeze is on a summer sea. And the roads are white too; there is no tarmac yet. And because the whole country is a turbulent demo-crazy of little hills, these roads shoot in every direction, disappearing and reappearing.
But you must not spread over this landscape your hard English sunlight; make it paler, make it softer, blur the edges of the white cumuli, cover it with watery gleams, deepening it, making all unsubstantial. And beyond all this, so remote that they seem fantastically abrupt at the very limit of your vision, imagine the mountains. They are no stragglers. They are steep and compact and pointed and toothed and jagged. They seem to have nothing to do with the little hills and cottages that divide you from them. And sometimes they are blue, sometimes violet; but quite often they look transparent - as if huge sheets of gauze had been cut into mountainous shapes and hung up there, so that you could see through them the light of the invisible sea at their backs.