Monday, 27 January 2014

January in our little Canadian Village

January has been relatively mild this year but too many days are overcast.  I prefer more cold if I can have sunshine and blue skies for my daily walks.  I have driven up the mountain three times now to work on the mosaic windows that a new artsy parishioner and her husband want to install in the sad looking blank spaces at the entrance to the church hall.  They live on a hill above the Thompson River Valley and look down on miles of cattle fields.  The cattle and sheep have all been herded down this way from their summer ranges to be fed for the winter.  Some of the spring birthings have started.  
They are developing this property as a elders' retreat.  They hope to offer dancercize, yoga, sweat lodge times, hiking, dune buggy rides, spiritual renewal spaces, walks, and art projects etc.  Or you can stay in a suite and escape from the world.   It was probably the worst day of the year to take pictures but you can see the vista is of pristine hills and mesas from the driveway.  My friend Germaine loves to do mosaics so came to help.  The long uphill driveway was icy the first day so we left my pickup at the bottom of the hill and walked up.  Behind her is one of the suites.

The lady of the house is well known in British Columbia for her glass works.  This is their front door area. 

And then below is the dining room area.

Marina spent 15 years on a Reserve, married to a First Nations man in the United States where she became very involved with their spiritual practices and the healing powers of sweat lodge ceremonies, which is much like a sauna with prayer times involved.  All the world's Wisdom Traditions will be honoured here, although both Marina and Dan are committed Christians.  Their bigger world view is refreshing to me. They certainly are NOT zenophobic. 

Marina's first vision of a project for us was to enhance the 4 blank windows at the entrance to our church hall.  She planned a series that I call "This is the Day That the Lord Hath Made" as that ditty/bible verse keeps running through my mind.  
#1 is night time. 
 #2 is the morning with a Peace Dove descending on our village or on Jerusalem or ????    Is that the Dead Sea down there?  The River of Life (the teachings of Jesus) is running through the middle of each panel.
Of course they don't show well here as we just opened the door to see the effect of light from behind and were very impressed.
My friend Germaine who is a cradle RC, and another friend Gerda who is a cradle Lutheran, and anybody from our community is welcome to work on this project which is meant to delight the eyes of anyone living or visiting in the community. 
Germaine and I were working on the big sun which had influences from the art of Hundertwassers who is German. But the sun area looks Aztec to me.  
I was trying to put a bit of rosey pink and purple into the sunset.  The two completed panels are leaning against the wall but of course have no sun filtering through them so aren't as effective.
We went up the hill to the workshop again today and finished panel #3.  Hopefully #4 will be done this week so they can be installed for parishioners to see on Sunday.  But if not this week then maybe next will be good enough.
I am booked to help on the last two Fridays of the month at the Soup's On from 11:00 to 1:00.  The really hungry people hang around outside before the doors even open.  This should not happen in this day and age.  

It is by donation or not, as one can afford to pay.  Our pod was called the Mixed Blessings Group this week and we had a lovely new helper, Patricia, from Dublin, who cut up and served desserts.  

When you look at the mixed crowd it is hard to tell who the wealthier ones are, but I know most of them and they are good giving people.  Some are Christians and some are undecided and some are Agnostics but if they are willing to work for a few hours we will gladly accept the help. 

 This lady brings her husband out of extended care in his wheelchair, every Friday for an outing.  She also made the crazy big Cat in the Hat style topper, and a skirt from a sweater she found in the Thrift Shop.  People can be clever to help keep warm in our Candian cold.
Our Rent-a-Daughter came for a visit for a few days.  She went to work on the mosaic windows and then walked back to town for her 5 km. of exercise.  She also went to church with me on Sunday and had 6 hard questions for me afterwards.


  1. The mosaics are very nice, it will be stunning when the sunshine will hit those.

  2. What a wonderful project, and I can't wait to see all four panels installed and enticing folks to enter the sanctuary and praise God! I always enjoy your photos that help tell your stories so well. Good to catch up with you, Karyn! Stay well and warm up there!

    1. You are right on with the objective of this project. The guiding artist just loves to praise the Creator and find new ways to do it with art and music. We have been doing Taize on Thursday nights. Although the church is Episcopal / Anglican we enjoy the Greorgian chant verses from the RC Taize community in France. We also have a lot of First Nations influence in our gatherings. It is weird how sometimes chanting in a strange language can be enlightening. It is a form of meditation that I am just learning about.