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gelato Archives - St. Stephen's University

Ramshackle

By | 2011, Europe | No Comments

Tonight, in Assisi, I am contemplating peace and am overwhelmed by a sense of blessing, a new realization of the incredible gifts that God gives us, ones we are not deserving of in the least. Here is a little cross-section of my trip so far in poetics:

Barcelona:

Triangles and tree trunks,
The perspective of a lifetime.
Tomorrow will be just like today,
except not at all the same, and quite thrilling.
Speedos on the beach,
It’s sunnier than it has been.
Everyone’s chillin.
Beers, frisbee, the roar of the nearby waves
breaking onto the beach
The Spaniards Dream

Florence:

No self-respecting exploration of Italy is complete without ?Gelato, and we were fortunate enough to be in town for the Florence Gelato Festival!!! Madi, her friend Priscilla, and myself all loaded up our gelato sampling cards and went to town on those little guys!!! The flavors were exotic, and every bite as rich and fresh as the first. We discovered such whimsical flavours as mushroom, rosewater, ginger-pineapple (excellent), pear and red pepper, almond biscotti, and red wine! Delicious, one and all, but our collective favorite was a white wine and florentine cream, which was positively sublime. Food is one of the best ways to experience a country’s culture, and the Italians have stolen my heart by way of my tastebuds.

Rome:

The Pantheon is currently an active church, and the following is a blessing that was displayed at the entrance as I was toured around Rome by Greg and Dan:

“I beg you, Mary,
Throw me a flower,
So that I may scent it’s perfume.
This is like the token of love
That made me suffer so.
Throw me your bouquet;
Not now and not ever
Will I be satisfied with you.”

Nice:

I led a “gathering” time, in which a lone white bird made a conspicuous appearance, and Madi and I played and sang the song Falling Slowly by Glen Hansard. We added a verse, turning it into a prayer, and this remains my constant creed:

“Lord please meet us
We invite you
Let your will be done

Here today and
in tomorrow,
Keep and cover us”

This I also pray for you, dear reader.
Until next time,
Nygel

The Rock From Which I Was Cut

By | 2010, Europe | No Comments

As I go about life at home, writing papers at the library and working at the plant nursery, as my family and old friends ask questions about my summer and my time in Europe, I am forced to look back. I weigh gelato flavours against one another to give my opinion on the best ones and quickly evaluate all the coffee I had so I can say which country had the best. As I look back it is easy to live in the past, to wish I’d spent more time doing this or that, to wish I could be sleeping on the ground in a tent with Lois instead of sweating, carrying trees and loading manure into people‚Äôs vehicles. It’s easy to wonder why writing papers and serving irate customers does not compare to strolling the streets of Europe soaking in the culture or eating a sandwich beside the Eiffel Tower.
There is a healthy way to look back and a destructive way to look back. Isaiah 51:1 says, “Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the Lord…Look to the rock from which you were cut…Look to the quarry from which you were hewn.”
I think this verse offers two applications for myself specifically and perhaps others reading this…
1) Remembering Europe and the time we spent there, the people I spent it with, what I learned (academically and about myself) and using that knowledge to help shape my time here at home, to remember the way we did life in Europe and apply it here at home.
2) My experience in Europe was coloured by the theme of restoration (specifically the Frauenkirche) and as I think about the “stages” that I’m processing, the time has come to be at home with my parents and brother, to look back to the rock from which I was cut – to my parents, to my Heavenly Father–and to allow them to speak life into me; to allow God to define me.
I am on the path of restoration. Europe was the beginning of this journey and God is my companion.