A year later, sitting waiting for bread to rise, I wait also for the angels – my favourite of Mom’s Christmas decorations, a little metal carousel with candles whose heat turns a fan, from which hang cherubim; when the fan turns, the angels fly over bells, ringing them in passing.

The Holy Spirit moves like that. However explicable the how of it, the why remains ephemeral and deep, like family bonds. Don’t wonder why.  The tiny chimes ring on.


Joy comes in the morning. – Psalm 30:5

Morning was always Mom’s time.

In the winter on the farm, morning would begin with the sound of her rattling the kitchen stove, stoking up the fire. We heated the house via a mixed-fuel furnace in the basement, whom, for reasons that live in family legend, we called by the name of Shush. The bedroom I shared with my sisters was right above the kitchen, and our floor grate – a far more direct system than vents and ducts –  directly above the stove, so I could always clearly hear her. Mom’s preparations always gave me a chance to prepare, too, for her wake up call, the stark light of the one bulb, the shock of the still-cold linoleum. A new day.

In the summer, morning would find her in the garden, working the soil before the heat of the day came…

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