I was talking to an intriguing character on a ferry and he half-jokingly called me a pagan, and this threw me through a loop and I ended up stammering that I am a wandering non-denominational Christian today. I quickly had a sinking feeling about that description- I would have preferred wayfaring, journeying, or wondering. I think the wandering part is more honest most of the time, though, and that’s why it came out. I wander between denominations, but it made me seriously think how much I wander in other senses of the the word.

Well, like Gandalf wrote to Frodo: ‘not all those who wander are lost,’ but I do feel lost much of the time, or enjoying the beauty of God’s creation while wandering at the better times. I have a relationship with Jesus, and when I truly confess and praise it’s the best of times, but my prayer life is so very far off from Brother Lawrence’s example, for example. So, I’m glad that the unflattering description that came out of my mouth grated on me and frightened me about how much I go my own misguided way because it’s spurred me to be more committed, to be closer to the Lord so that if I wander I don’t feel lost. I know where and why I am. If there is an upside to the wandering it is that I have seen and paid attention to the Light in my travels in Catholic schools, and Reformed Christian schools, and liberal mainline churches. I have noticed the Light in every Christian denomination I have experienced. I don’t expect to change the non-denominational part, and I don’t necessarily want to change the wandering part- just my religious experience of it.

I hope I’m like the children in Kipling’s poem ‘The Way through the Woods,’ in that, though it looks like I’m wandering, I’m following the long lost way through the woods and Jesus is with me when I feel lost, because there is no road through the woods

The first time I was asked about my faith in public was on a bus back when I was in University. I replied that I didn’t know if I was ready to be a Christian, and-although I know that I need to give more of myself- I am getting closer and I can say honestly that I have a budding faith, so that this wandering period I described this second time I was asked could be part of a journey back to God after all.

That reminds me of a C.S. Lewis essay where he writes that the further along you are on your faith journey the harder God seems to be with you (with the prime example of Matthew 27 and Mark 15), which reminds me of making maple syrup this time of year: the sap is sweet until the buds appear, and that’s when the leaf starts taking in carbon dioxide and emitting oxygen. The conversion is sweet and for me it was intense relief and revitalization, but then God let’s you give as much as you possibly can and, while you are happy and blessed, it’s not always a nice wandering walk in the park.

*I’ve been trying to restrain my smartphone usage during Lent to be less distracted, and I felt impelled to write this on my smartphone- God’s foolishness is wiser than my wisdom!


I screened ‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans’ in my basement (you can see my cousin’s lovely glass art and my inherited mission clock)

I screened ‘Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans’ in my basement (you can see my cousin’s lovely glass art and my inherited mission clock)

‘… I couldn’t give up hope. I know the tides… I went around the point’

It is our weaknesses that overwhelm us with bitterness at times when going through trials and temptations, until they are overcome by the true sweetness of grace, which draws us closer to the ones we love and fills us with the capacity to love. It is the memory of the bitterness that equips us to help others and the memory of the sweetness that gives us the opportunity.

There hasn’t been anything better on screen since. I’d say most movies are different in kind, and only Marty and Silver Linings Playbook earnestly call on the same strengths to slightly lesser degrees.

I still stand for this platform I wrote during the last election cycle

  • 100% inheritance tax, increased sales taxes
  • I’d eliminate all tax credits and deductions
  • guaranteed minimum income- eliminating all other credits and transfers (the very few people who don’t want to work and want to have others pay their way are already doing that- by replacing the absurd and convoluted safety net now that claws back anything earned by anyone who finds themselves at the bottom, people would be free to benefit from more choices and everyone would benefit from people working towards their dreams and helping their families. So, very few people would continue to just take from others, a larger group of people would volunteer and do good things and be satisfied with the minimum income, while others would take a tiny wage to enthusiastically contribute to something they’re passionate about, and many would continue to try to make as much money as possible in a more coherent marketplace)
  • This simplified tax system will cut out much of the petty rent-seeking many talented Canadians are tied up with at the moment
  • strong focus on freedom of speech and opportunity
  • I would also like to see a rating system for all public services- i think it works great for restaurants etc. (People recognize when someone is complaining for no good reason, but a complaint made in good faith needs a timely and specific response)
  • Environmental stewardship- carbon tax and protections of crown land, watercourses, and wild places- this is a democracy with future generations tempered by the wisdom we have received from previous generations of what Chesterton called the ‘democracy of the dead’
  • Rekindle public affection for what Edmund Burke called our ‘little platoons’ of family and community

I found another favourite- the Queen of the Waters (I need to work on the proportions, and get the proper hackling; it’s still a lovely pattern, though)

I figure I’ll use these bigger size 10 winged wets early in the season when the water is still high and opaque, and then switch to the smaller soft hackles I tied when the water lowers and clears up.

Recollecting a wonderful trip to a trout stream with my brother in tranquility

I’m really looking forward to ice fishing this week, and I have an eye on spring too to try my own flies out on the stream for the first time- I have great expectations for my winged wets, soft hackles, and flymphs. For the naturalist and outdoorsman, the changing seasonal scenes always welcome new hopes and possibilities. The seasonal changes in the northeast make it so that we don’t get too much of a good thing, help us so that we never stop paying attention or never start taking beauty for granted.