I’m gardening with my son, the cool, wet dirt between our fingers. I think of John, my friend, a fellow traveller, recently dead of cancer. He’s still somehow, seen. Still felt.
Funny how that goes, how you often miss what’s right in front of you. Then, when you take the time to pause, the smelling salts of life get you to sit up and do what your mother always told you: pay attention!
The latest news from this corner is that my wallet, soggy and laden with earth beetles, was found in a neighbour’s rock garden. The phone call came.
“Are you Thomas Froese?”
“I have your wallet.”
It was handed to me in a plastic bag. Hard to say if this is good news or bad. It’s like someone finding a body.
It was a gift from Oma and Opa, an outfit for the little bambino, the newborn, and this is what it said: “Property of Mommy and Daddy.” The photo landed in this space. Sixteen years ago.
It’s like clothing announcing that you’re “Property of the Toronto Raptors.” Everyone knows you’re not, just like everyone knows that parents don’t own their
Today let’s talk about the liberal arts, and, in particular, words. This, because the Conference Board of Canada recently affirmed that the liberal arts are vital when it comes to preparing for the work world, if not life itself. Universities tracking these things are saying the same.
It’s refreshing news because to have a degree in say, literature
There’s something holy about motherhood. My father’s tears remind me. My wife’s steadiness reminds me. Even my mother, in her long absence, reminds me.There we are sitting in a meadow in Berlin. A large book is on my lap. My mother is teaching me to read. We’re enjoying each other. She tickles me.My pant suspenders – I always laugh when
The comedy of life, the absolute comedy, is that the God of this weekend, the one who walked and slept and bled and cried and, sure, laughed among us, is still found in the most unexpected places. This comedy is different than the comedy of, say, Saturday Night Live.
It was a question after dinner. The kids asked me. “So, Dards, if it were possible, would you rather know exactly how you’ll die, or when you’ll die?”“Hmm,” I said. (Always a good response for such questions.) “I don’t know.” (Even better.) What I know is that, like many others, I’d rather not die alone. Imagine dying alone
In a few days the children’s mother and I are at a marriage retreat. It’s our first since I can’t remember when. The invitation, by fluke, came a day after I was propositioned to have an affair. Now, in this space, I don’t talk much about it, sex and all. This is because Mennonites didn’t even know what sex was until 1985,
The beauty of sleep is that you don’t need to think about it. Thinking just gummies it all up. No, you simply relax. You let go. You lay it down, all the cares of the day and all the cares of the world.You lay yourself down and surrender to what’s larger than yourself: the night. Even a child can do it.
The charm, the absolute charm, of Captain Amon is that he’ll appear at your doorstep in East Africa at the most inopportune times.You’ll be having a bite to eat, or a nap, or a shower, and there it is, the knock on your guesthouse door. “Mr. Thom? Hello, Mr. Thom? Mr. Thom. Are you there?
So I'm in the middle of Africa dining with a colleague and he declares, "That's great news about Jean. Congratulations!"
Out comes his phone and all the details and I'm in the dark and feeling rather sheepish about it. My bride, the children's mother, in her natural humility, hadn't told me of her recent recognition as a Canadian
Andrew Thomas is the little boy who smiled and played with my hands the first time I met him outside the university guesthouse where, these days, I have my meals. There, from your side of the ocean, my own children, along with their mother, watched and said hello to Andrew through a video screen.
“We are suffering. We are all suffering terribly.”This is what she said. I could see it in her face. Others told me the same. It was here at UCU. I listened. I was saddened. Disturbed. My heart broke. This is not how it was meant to go. Nobody saw this coming.
"I see you're aging gracefully." This is what he, an old Canadian friend, now overseas, said after seeing my photo complete with beard and glasses. Oh, come on. Already? Now? So soon? Aging gracefully? Really? In truth, the beard comes and goes like pages of a calendar. I shave. I don't shave. My bride, that is my young
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ This morning I FaceTimed the family. Child Number 1, a musical girl, was having sinus pain. So I looked up there and noticed Taylor Swift and a hall of high school girls having a party. Looks like they'd moved from my daughter's inner ear. I suggested this may be
MUKONO, UGANDA ✦ So I'm back in this East African nation for a working visit. It's also a good time to get myself unplugged. You know, rested and rebooted. The warm days and the warm people and the children help. If you visit (and why don’t you, sometime?) you’ll know what I mean.
The thing about those wild once-upon-a-time stories is that the good ones are always more true than we imagine. They can touch us profoundly. So here’s one: Once upon a time there was a little girl. A lost girl. Before I share more, though, let me say, as if it needs saying, that being lost is no fun.
Eat. Read. Pray. Fly out the door. School mornings this is the routine in our home.
A recent reading was about waiting. Cereal went into empty stomachs. I closed the book and made a comment about slowness. The children’s mother said, “But remember, with God a day is like