Lately, I have allowed myself to give some thought to where I would like to be come Fall 2012. I know I am not supposed to be thinking about that yet. We are only 2 months in but they have been 2 months of discovering a different culture and a different way of living life with different priorities and different influences. I have mentioned some of these differences before such as the “less”, the different consumer drive, etc. But there are other influences that also create sway. I think that most of us will admit that we are the product of the community that we grow up in and the people who speak into our lives. In Vancouver that could mean pressure to eat organic or do yoga. In Three Hills that could mean learning to knit or buy Quads (if that is what they are called). But here in Cambridge that means becoming a Doctor or a Lawyer or Professor, Researcher, Engineer….to name a few.
Not only that but because our lives have crossed that of so many others we have a broad range of people who speak into our lives simply by the lives they live themselves and they are all very different: some romantic, others professional/ “successful”, some organic, some full of comedy. These lives are reflected in their place of residence, what they eat, how they express themselves and what they give their time to. I think you understand what I mean. And while I recognize that the life we lead is unique to us and that we are individuals, if ever there was a chance to pursue the life that we had always dreamed of or try new things, now is the time. We are privileged to have a blank slate waiting for us at the end of this adventure. That being said, I can’t say that between Ben and I, we have ever dreamed of “the perfect life”. I did have a perfect life all planned out when I was about 21, you know: 2.5 children, house in the suburbs, so I started dating an accountant and found out really quick that that wasn’t actually the life that I wanted and married a musician instead.
Going forward what kind of people do I want to be surrounded by? What scenery do I want to inspire me, what do I want to have accessible and what can I do without? I see the beauty in so many other’s lives and like a dress I admire in a window shop I wonder what it would look like on? Too tight and restrictive? Not my style? Not practical and just waiting to have ketchup dumped down the front of it? Nice fit around the waist but not around the bust? Or a staple for a season?
We always watch job postings for Choral Conductors and they spread across the globe in many different venues and cultures. Some catch our interest and others we immediately glance over while some sound intriguing but the location is called into question, but how much does that matter?
If you were given a pair of scissors and the freedom to cut a school of here, and a church from there, cut out your friends from here and the scenery of there and you pasted all your favourite things into a nice little collage….what would it look like?
What new elements would you add? Higher education? (More) Children? A career? A hobby? A fish named Goldie?
I try to be open to where God is leading and what keeps me hopeful is the idea that there probably is some place out there that is perfect for my family but I have just never been there before or maybe I have but I will never know if I don’t step out in faith.
And while, at the present, we live in Cambridge, and it is perfect for this chapter, we are still visitors. There is a uniqueness to Cambridge in that it is a University City. With over thirty thousand students coming and going each year the “townies” seem to not much bother with foreigners. Let’s just say that all of my friends are American. I don’t exactly help matters either in that, I ALWAYS look like a tourist: camera in hand, strolling nonchalantly, looking up at the intricate architecture instead of forward at the oncoming cycle traffic. And this weekend was no exception.
One of my favourite parts of having visitors is showing them around and taking them to all of my favourite spots. Ben’s godson came into town from Malta on Friday and Saturday we all went punting for the very first time. It was a beautiful day and just as I had hoped it would be.
|Jon, Ben and Ella punting down the River Cam|
It was a crisp, albeit sunny morning, we packed a lunch, bundled up and set sail. Punting is a great way to see many of the old colleges and it is even better in the Autumn when the river is not jammed packed nor are the punts. While our punt sat 12, it was just the 5 of us.
|St. John’s College|
Jakob even had a go at driving the punt…
|Jakob punting and our German punting friend, Christian|
A Punt, however is not the best way to get pictures. The river is low and the banks block the scenery. The top of a bus, on the other hand, has quite a nice view. We said “good-bye” to Jon Monday morning and “hello” to Gramps and Omi Monday afternoon and Tuesday we were treated to an official tour of Cambridge.
|The back of King College Chapel|
|The American War Memorial: aren’t the fall colours stunning?!|
|The Mathematical Bridge|
|Cycle Parking is sometimes hard to find.|
The kids just loved having Gramps and Omi here…I think that goes without saying and after two months of walking past the Disney store, Jakob was finally allowed to go in, where Gramps spoiled him rotten. Surprise!
But Gramps and Omi are only passing through on their way home after 3 weeks of travelling Europe and will be saying good bye today, all too soon.
It is yet ANOTHER gorgeous day in Cambridge so I should probably close of this rather random post. But I leave you with one last picture that makes my heart giddy….
59 days until Christmas.