Yearly Archives: 2017

2017 November

Unanswered prayers and the unexpected things in life

2017-11-13T12:20:46+00:00 November 11th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The young lady was my heart’s desire. She was my long-time prayer. This, when I was a much younger version of myself. It was on the 11th day of the 11th month when her letter arrived. She wrote briefly and dispassionately. Her words drained the room of colour.

2017 October

Happy Death Day: here’s to getting clarity in life

2017-10-31T21:28:41+00:00 October 31st, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

I walked through the cemetery today. I often do. It was me and the cold and the wet and my old umbrella. The umbrella is covered in deco of old newspaper headlines: the Jays won the World Series; Gorbachev was dismantling the USSR. My umbrella and I blew around like the news

2017 October

Is God simply a figment of our imagination?

2017-10-31T13:21:25+00:00 October 7th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

It was a recent evening at the University of Toronto when I was reminded of it all, that hope is better than skepticism, that faith is better than doubt, that love (in the abiding sense of charitable love) is better than fear. I was reminded, too, how I’ve always felt more kinship

2017 September

Facing death and seeing the heroic nature of life

2017-10-30T10:42:03+00:00 September 23rd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

I don’t believe in war. In name and in family heritage, I’m Mennonite. In spirit, I’m pacifist. But children, it seems to me, should have a working knowledge of war. Because in war there’s not only darkness and fear, there’s light and courage. There’s humanity. There’s humility.

2017 September

End of summer, back to school, time for JFKs

2017-09-04T22:28:06+00:00 September 2nd, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |6 Comments

So, my children, like children everywhere, are about to return to school. This brings some uncertainties. It’s my children’s first-ever September back-to-school in Canada. More so, I’ll need to work at having more JFKs again. Before I explain what a JFK is, let me say that in

2017 August

Don’t tell the kids, but we bought a new house

2017-08-30T15:51:53+00:00 August 11th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , |16 Comments

So, the children’s mother and I bought a house. “Let’s not tell the children,” she said. “Okay,” I replied. So we didn’t. Now before I share why, let me say that we all have a relationship with our houses, and in my family I’m the one with a sort of longsuffering in this union. This is the story.

2017 July

There’s bound to be some blood along the way

2017-07-24T23:03:41+00:00 July 24th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator|Tags: , , , , |3 Comments

Today we’re going to talk about the boy. Child #2. My son. You may have a boy also. And if he hasn’t yet put his head inside the open mouth of an alligator, then, well, congratulations. My boy announced recently that he’s going to jump from a plane.

2017 June

Wherever we are, we all need grace in our lives

2017-07-24T23:05:32+00:00 June 30th, 2017|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

I’m a white Canadian. But I easily imagine myself as a dark Arabian. A Muslim. There, on the streets with a kufiya on my head. Or there, I’m a Muslim woman with a beautiful, but hidden, face, walking along the beach. I’m just telling you. I mean, what if I was born in, say, Yemen.