temps d’espérance

igloo inspectionVivement le temps des fêtes! Cette semaine il a fait très froid (vers les -15 à -20 degrés C) et on voit partout les signes d’un Noël blanc: des belles plaines enneigées, et des glaçons qui pendent du bord des toits. Bien que ma famille n’a plus l’habitude de fêter avec un arbre de Noël ni avec des cadeaux, on a fêté quand même en partageant l’esprit de la saison. La semaine dernière, on a aidé un groupe de pré-jeunes dans notre quartier avec un projet de service ayant un thème de Noël. Avec notre aide, le groupe s’est arrangé pour cuire et décorer des beaux biscuits de Noël, qu’on a par la suite distribué parmi leurs voisins avec des cartes de Noël qu’ils ont dessiné eux-mêmes. Le but, au-delà de partager l’esprit des fêtes, c’était de démontrer l’esprit d’amitié et de fraternité avec les gens du voisinage, et de partager de l’espoir—le thème du livret que le groupe est en train d’étudier ensemble.
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vacationing in victoriaville

it’s not Cancun or the Dominican Republic, but I’m taking a short little vacation visiting my good friends Geneviève and Craig in Victoriaville, my old pioneer post. This place is amazing. Many of the locals are on vacation, so the neighbourhood is very quiet. Gen and Craig live in the foothills of a mountain, which means they can go outside and be greeted every day with a breath of fresh mountain air. Their water’s also pretty good – there’s a humble little “spring” not too far from their home that gives clean, fresh water… through a metal pipe stuck in the face of the mountain, no less. There’s a lovely river not very far where they tend to bring all their visitors to skip stones or, if it’s a particularly hot day, to swim. And my favourite – it’s only a quick drive up to the top of the mountain, where they can see all the way to the St. Lawrence River. I love this place. Whenever I return here, I’m reminded of the following quote from the book Baha’u’llah and the New Era: “Baha’u’llah loved the beauty and verdure of the country. One day He passed the remark: ‘I have not gazed on verdure for nine years. The country is the world of the soul, the city is the world of bodies.’

victoriaville in high-res satellite photos

du haut de la montagneyay! Google Maps (and Google Earth) finally added high-res satellite photos of my favourite place in the world: Victoriaville. now you can see the house where I lived, the Victoriaville Loblaws store where I worked, the SADC Arthabaska-Érable (where I also worked), the Tim Horton’s where I stopped after getting lost on my first day in Victoriaville, Mont Arthabaska and other fascinating places. If you add MetalToad’s Flickr KML feed, you can even view some of my flickr photos of Victoriaville in Google Earth.

back from a sweet weekend

glorious afternoon in victorandom update time. I peaced out for the Thanksgiving weekend (yup, Canadian Thanksgiving) and went to Victoriaville to visit Craig and Geneviève, two terribly good friends of mine from back when I went on a year of service there in 2002. it was great to get back together with them. we hung around, took care of their kids, and had some of our good old prayer sessions like back in the day. theirs is a musical family, so there was sweet harmony and soft chanting melody. I spent some of my time on the train ride to Drummondville studying parts of the long obligatory prayer—in an effort to finally memorize the whole thing—and said prayers on the bus from Drummondville to Victoriaville. It was sweet to have all that time to pray. it really took me far outside of the harried and somewhat obsessive-compulsive mental state I’d been cultivating for the past little while back in Ottawa. just quiet and honest reflection. on the train ride back from Drummondville, I got through two more chapters of The Covenant of Bahá’u’lláh by Adib Taherzadeh. Deeply touching and at times heart-rending book to read—reading about the all crushing sorrows inflicted upon Bahá’u’lláh and ‘Abdu’l-Bahá by the early Covenant-breakers is almost too much to take in one sitting. And I haven’t even gotten to the part about Shoghi Effendi yet. Anyway, I digress.

the weekend was an oddly productive one. I paid visits to and/or called up several other Baha’is in Victoriaville, and even stopped in to the Marché public to buy two bags of fresh local cranberries—which, in addition to the 2 kg bag of cranberries I ordered at work, should make some fine cranberry jam. I’ll blog the resulting jam session once it happens, with some recipes. hmm, I’m having cranberry flashbacks here.

concours de pompiers

allez voir ça – à Victo ils ont eu un concours de pompiers d’à travers le Québec… ils ont plein de photos. voilà un autre article à propos des compétitions, et puis un autre au sujet du défilé mouillé… ça paraît peut-être bête de souligner tout ça mais bon… j’aime bien suivre les nouvelles de Victo… et puis au travail je suis entouré de femmes qui parlent très souvent de pompiers (qu’ils sont beaux ces pompiers!) alors ils vont bien aimer ça…

ah oui et pendant que tous le pompiers étaient occupés avec leurs olympiques, un bâtiment de ferme a brûlé jusqu’aux cendres… tous les bêtes qui s’y trouvaient sont présentement en route vers le McDo.

and just in case you didn’t understand all that, it was about a weekend-long firefighters’ skill contest in Victoriaville. aaaaaaaand while they were all busy competing, a barn burnt down and grilled a bunch of cows… trip to McDonald’s to celebrate, anyone?

histoires de chez nous / random tidbits and such

C’est de moins en moins souvent que je mets à jour mon site avec du matériel franco pour mes amis du Québec, et j’en suis désolé… mais par exemple, vous allez peut-être aimer ce qui suit – il s’agit de quelques histoires reliées aux baha’is du coin de Victo:

So here’s a few interesting things I’ve come upon lately…

Last but not least… sometimes we work all day at the office, rushing this way and that, and when we get home our brains are mush and we don’t have the energy to lift a finger. Likewise, sometimes we’re so run down by the anxious, frantic pace of life that we’re too tired to serve humanity or teach the world about the Baha’i Faith – and all we want to do is rest. And then we read something like this and we get back up off our butts and get real.

Right?