Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Vancouver Ho!

Hello from Vancouver.  I'm here for a few days of R&R, and thought I might post a little as I go.  I've read the comments I've gotten about the blog-- thanks for them! And Michelle, I see I owe you an email.  Soon, I promise.

What I thought I'd do for the time being is offer the occasional short reflection on things going on, pop culture-y, American society, etc., mixed in with some traveloguing, both from here and from a trip I took last summer to China.   It probably won't be every day, but we'll see how it goes.


Vancouver is a city on an peninsula, with mountains to the north, the Pacific to the West, and an inlet and a river on the north and south.  According to my travel guide (Frommer's, great so far), "Thousands of years ago, a giant glacier sliced along the foot of today's North Shore mountains, carving out a deep trench and piling up a gigantic moraine of rock and sand."   When the glacier receded, the Pacific flowed in and the moraine became the land on which Vancouver now sits.

Sitting at the northern tip of the downtown area, looking out on the inlet and the blue mountains fading into the distance across, I found myself appreciating the sense of space there. It's not dramatic as much as it is relaxing, the kind of simple openness that invites you to slow down and take some deep breaths.

Coming out of the crowdedness not only of New York, but of my life, having spent the last few months packing and unpacking, chasing down items on check lists, letting go of things only to add new things in their places, my thoughts sitting there turned to God.  Make room like this inside of me.  Carve away at all the sediment, grind down my attachments, and let me know the spaciousness of life with you.

And the thought came back: just remember, glaciers move very slowly...


Click to make it big!


Mike Bayard, S.J. said...

Jim, enjoy the city. I think it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with the mountains coming right down into the water as you look out toward them from downtown. Be sure to get a walk around the perimeter of Stanley Park.

Larks3 said...

Jim, delighted to know you have "landed" and getting a chance to see sights beyond LA.

We visited Vancounter and Victoria some 12 years ago and have wonderful memories of the beauty we found there. ENJOY!

Michelle said...

It's a gem of a city (I liked it better than Victoria). Do enjoy the down time, don't write emails!

Jim McDermott, SJ said...

Thank for the well wishes! Vancouver is definitely beautiful! It's like a beach city, a college town, a dense urban population and a rainforest all wrapped up into one. Amazing.

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