Friday, October 08, 2010

Thought for the Day
Good Morning Scotland
BBC Radio Scotland
Friday, October 8th, 2010

My daughter Hannah announced her engagement yesterday. This immediately provoked a whole series of emails and comments from friends in Montreal who said – no, this can’t be – only last week she was “little”.

Hannah and I live in different parts of the world. I had met her previous two boyfriends but not this latest fellow.

It feels odd that somebody who you used to dress for school and make a packed lunch for - is now proposing to make a life with somebody you’ve never met. But it sometimes escapes your attention: the world goes on without you - you’re not indispensible. There are horizons you will never trudge over yourself. Power will continue to pass from one government to another. The value of property will continue to rise and fall. What we regard as essential today is re-evaluated by others. As Kurt Vonnegut used to say “…so it goes”.

So I promise not to moan about my age or the passage of time but I will remind myself that every time I’ve said the Lord’s Prayer and used the words “thy Kingdom come”, I’ve made reference to a power in the Universe which brings into being things that I cannot imagine – around me, without me - even in spite of me. I’d always thought of myself as a friend to that process.

When we were young we wanted to be in the centre of things and to pull everything towards us. There must come a time, though, when we learn to follow and become satisfied to see things take their own shape.

Some of us clutch on to things and people too tightly and for too long.

Every time my daughter toddled off to the school bus in Montreal there were risks. I needed to tell myself, at the time, that at the heart of the world she was walking into, with all its grandeur and its dangers – there was a God of Love who sustained and inspired the creatures He had made – with or without my help.

Audio is available for a limited time HERE. TFTD begins at 1:19.56 - about halfway along the audio bar.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Off to Salzburg for a few days!

Owing to a few holiday points graciously handed over by the in-laws and a couple of relatively low-cost plane tickets found online, my lady wife and I are going to Salzburg (in fact, just outside Salzburg) for a few days. We fly to Munich on Saturday and pick up a hire-car to drive from there.

In case you didn't know, Salzburg is where the Sound of Music was filmed. We're going to try and go on the Sound of Music tour. I intend to eat a little schnitzel (we will see if veggie schnitzel exists for Caireen).

My wife says she draws the line at lederhosen. I am not allowed anything with seven fly zippers!