It is time for some Christmas reflections, from a grumpy Canadian white male. Just when I felt like dozing off, after some reading on globalization, the phone rang. It was number three daughter.
"Hi Dad!" she spoke into my ear, through the very clear technology of the new cordless.
"You're right in my ear," I responded, not giving her the advantage of my full experience, because of the new device.
And then I heard some burbling, and gurgling and almost singing in the background from her nine-month old daughter, who suddenly burst out crying.
"What's her problem?" I inquired.
"I took her glass away, and she doesn't like that."
"Oh, you mean she has a real voice!" I observed.
"She has a voice alright!" came the response.
And when I asked if her mother would put the phone to her ear, I spoke her name.
She became silent, looked at the device, and, according to her Mom, smiled and returned to her burbling an gurgling.
It is the intervention of technology, whether it is a new cordless, or skype, or Facebook, or Twitter, ro Linkedin or whatever that has changed how we communicate.
Nevertheless, being present, in person, in the flesh, with eyes and ears and full attention to the moment is still irreplaceable, by the technology.
It is very good for 'catching up' on the latest events, happenings, facts, even illnesses and concerns.
However, it is the human presence, in body, mind and spirit that still moves this old guy.
And like those who are now writing about experiencing the sacred in and through science, I love to walk, with my partner and eight-year-old Irish Wheaton named Molly, among the trees along the Trans-Canada Trail, on that portion known to locals as the Cataraqui Trail in Frontenac Township.
It is the trees and the rocks and the lakes and the wind, sometimes the snow and rain and the silence, the deep and unrelenting silence, except for the occasional bird-chirp, or dog-bark off in the distance that punctuates the silence and the breathing of the wind through the pines as we walk.
No matter the 'things on one's mind, or on one's heart'...the refreshing 'escape' for a couple of hours is like nothing else on earth.
It is a moment to reflect, and even to empty one's being of all distractions and to drink in the nano-seconds as one puts one foot in front of the other, in the path originally crossed by the iron and steel wheels of the rail system, now removed and leaving only the occasional tie jutting through the snow, as reminder of an earlier time.
And these trees and rocks as lakes and wind remind me of how miniscule a part of the landscape each of us really is, and even so, we are our own little piece of the whole, just like the little girl burbling and gurgling near the phone.
And the intricacies and the complexities and the intimacies of life...mine, her's, my partner's, the dog's, the trees, the bird....connect all of life in a kind of sacred mystery...from the delivery room to the nursery, from the day-care to the classroom, and from the playing fields to the boardrooms....frequently passing through the literal and the metaphorical 'trails' making us ONE...with each other and with all of nature.
And along with restoring our sense of well-being and our connectedness we are elevated into that mystery, a mystery we will never fully comprehend, or even fully appreciate, if we but take the time to open to its fullness.
At this time, when stories of mysterious birth, and mysterious traditions and how we were given both permission and support to enter into these mysteries, we can but give a joyous thanks for the opportunity of life, and of being part of a part of the whole human family.
And even that experience, enhanced as it is through the mysteries of technology, does not change through the centuries across the continents, and among the various languages, faiths, political systems, geographies and neighbourhoods.
Thanks for the opportunity to write and to share this experience of the mystery and wonder of life, with each of you.