hello there people. the winter school was so great. I came back last night. I wish I could have stayed there for a week! what a cool atmosphere. it was an interesting challenge personally, and it was so fun to be around all the kids. i was asked to help facilitate a group of 13-16 year olds. it was rough at times but we made out quite well and I think the youth enjoyed themselves. it was a very different atmosphere, because there were parents involved in the process, part of the groups. everything centred around the youth, and apparently everyone loved that aspect of it. the whole school was a rousing success.
now I’m back in Ottawa, staying at my parents’ place. my mom is working today, and my dad (who is retired now) is taking it easy with us at home. we had a nice conversation this morning about the history of his family. I learn more about family history every day, and it’s helping me get a better understanding of the family’s evolution. you just need to ask and you’ll receive.
today (once we finally get going) Catherine and I are going to go downtown, do a little shopping, and meet some friends for tea. around about tea time, too. charming. (in a british accent)
I was reading a really interesting book this morning, called “To dine with the blameless Ethiopians”. it’s about the story of an african-american Bahá’í girl who decides to go to southern Africa on a year of service, and her struggles with apartheid and her own cultural identity, and her service to the Faith throughout all these difficulties. very interesting and very inspiring. I sometimes feel like I’m not doing enough in my service. and it’s true that other people have done a lot more than I have on their year of service than I have on mine. but I accepted certain conditions of life and service when I decided to go to Quebec. Quebec isn’t exactly South Africa. People aren’t really banging down your door to hear about a new religion. not that there are fundamentally different needs — everyone needs the healing message of Bahá’u’lláh — but it needs to be brought in a certain way. I guess the most important thing I’ve done is just to stay in the community, establish the local Spiritual Assembly, and offer my support and aid to the local community. I’m still thinking about this issue of finding courage, of finding that faith that moves mountains. the doubts and fears are very real, but they’re very real delusions. overcoming these delusions — that I can’t teach the Faith, that I don’t have the capacity to spread the message of Bahá’u’lláh, that I can’t live a life that’s infused with the spirit of devotion and love for His Revelation — is my challenge, and one that I am facing one step at a time. slowly I find myself gaining in courage and certitude. slowly I find myself mentioning the Faith to more and more people. slowly the seeds I plant grow, and it’s my duty to continue to water them, feed them, give them light. one step at a time, one day at a time.
anyway, I’m going to get ready to go now. I’m glad to be able to share these things with you people. And I’m not even sure who reads this. maybe a bunch of complete strangers. if so, I hope you take something good from it 😉