Life on the Giant’s Rib

I live on the bony ridge of rock known as the Niagara Escarpment–or, as the First Nations people who first inhabited this area called it, “the Giant’s Rib.” For some, this 725-kilometer limestone “rib” of the earth is a geological wonder. For me, it’s the magical place I call home.

limehouse trail crevaces2

As go about my ordinary life in this most extraordinary of places, these words by Frederick Buechner often come to mind:

“I discovered that if you really keep your eye peeled to it and your ears open, if you really pay attention to it, even such a limited and limiting life as the one I was living on Rupert Mountain opened up onto extraordinary vistas. Taking your children to school and kissing your wife goodbye. Eating lunch with a friend. Trying to do a decent day’s work. Hearing the rain patter against the window. There is no event so commonplace but that God is present within it, always hiddenly, always leaving you room to recognize him or not to recognize him, but all the more fascinatingly because of that, all the more compellingly and hauntingly. . . . If I were called upon to state in a few words the essence of everything I was trying to say both as a novelist and as a preacher, it would be something like this: Listen to your life. See it for the fathomless mystery that it is. In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness: touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.”

(From Listening to Your Life, by Frederick Buechner, p. 2)

That’s what I’m trying to do, as one day follows the next, here on the Giant’s Rib: listen to my life, keeping my eyes peeled and my ears open for the mystery.