Over the weekend, Sophie came home. Just a flash of an appearance, enough to see an eye doctor and submit a passport application, enough for late night talks and some hugs.
It was a busy few days: cousins were in town, Izzy had three musical performances, Caroline left for a camping trip and many other things happened, smaller moments which were tender and sweet.
On Sunday I played the organ at church. I always turn up the volume and press every stop in an effort to channel my inner Westminster Abbey, but with the singing of the national anthem, I really maxed out its capacity. It's a bit like being in the Great Glass Elevator: I'm surprised I didn't blow that thing up.
I love the national anthem...the words are stirring, they speak to my soul. They evoke memories of my mother, who wiped away quiet tears when singing the Canadian national anthem. I reflect on the gift of freedom that has been purchased many times over at an inestimable price. I'm at once overwhelmed by the peace and plenty in this part of the world and troubled beyond degree by the lack of such things elsewhere.
I think of those who fought and still fight to defend these virtues, of anyone who has gone to war or stood ground to defend principles of freedom. I feel inadequate to say anything of worth on this topic, as I've only been the unwitting recipient of these sacrifices, but I think of them anyway. There doesn't seem to be words to describe how I feel: horror and sorrow for the reality of war, anger that something so pointless could wreak such havoc, reverence for those who march into the fray, a desire to live respectfully for what was given on my behalf.