Reflections on my 9-Day Service Project

Day 3

No vegan donuts today. By the time we arrived at the Frickin’ Delight Donuts, they were all out of donuts and coffee. So today’s treat instead becomes old-fashioned candy bought at a traditional general store tucked away down a country road far off the beaten path. I will get to the donut shop in Devon on another day.

A pattern to my days seems to be emerging: a tedious task, a treat, a study session, and a home visit with elevated conversations. Today’s tedious task was grating the kohlrabi so it’s ready for making fritters tomorrow. Breakfast is going to be delicious!

Today’s study session involved driving around the countryside looking for specific historical and environmental landmarks. After leaving the Frickin’ Delight Donuts shop disappointed (but still joyful!), we head to Carvel Corner. I missed the turn off and we had to back track. Turning off the highway, we found our way to the Carvel General Store. Hoping to find coffee and ice-cream, I went into the store. No luck on the coffee and ice-cream but I found just about everything else. It was a delight to peruse the hundreds of items set about in the haphazard way necessitated by the lack of space and abundance of items. Both my friend and I each bought different old-fashioned candy so we had our sweets and got back on the highway.

Next stop: Spring Lake. In the places I visit, I need to take a selfie with a sign of the location and a scenic image of the location. Although we had no problem finding the Village of Spring Lake, we took quite some time to find the lake itself. When we did, there was a definite lack of signage. After tracking down the necessary photos I needed, and meeting a very helpful and friendly individual, we headed for Edmonton.

By the time we arrived in Edmonton, we had completed Unit 1 of Book 6: The Spiritual Nature of Teaching. We even had time to practice some of the memorization requirements! We will start Unit 2 (The Qualities and Attitudes of the Teacher) tomorrow. We are planning to complete Unit 2 before my 9-day service project ends. That will leave us with Unit 3 (The Act of Teaching) which will involve identifying specific practice activities to complete as we study the unit.

Our Ruhi road trip took place after my two home visits. The first involved some breathing exercises in the park with a dear friend. We spend a lovely time together, doing simple stretches as we chatted about family life, marriage, husbands, children, and healthy living. This was another individual I had seen very little of over the pandemic. It was such a joyful visit, in the shade of a large tree and being warmed by the day’s heat. Her willingness to share her knowledge in healthy living and Bollywood dancing (which she offers on a weekly basis via Zoom) is greatly appreciated! And what was even more remarkable is that all the topics we discussed were centered around spiritual principles. Connecting everyday life to spiritual principles seems to be how my 9-day service appears to be going, and I am enjoying every minute of it!

After a lovely hour spent in the park, I went over to another friend’s house to chat with her and her husband about the different prayer books and pamphlets that I have in the bookstore. We also shared what we were each doing for our service projects. Her ability to converse with her neighbours always amazes me. These elevated conversations that I am having with the different friends in the community are truly helping me to stay focused on what I am trying to accomplish. And I hope, in some small way, that I have contributed to their understanding of the path we are all walking on.

The batter for the fritters is ready for tomorrow. I have prepared the homework task assigned for tomorrow’s study session. Connections with two more friends has been strengthened and a unit in a Ruhi book has been completed. I have no activity on the calendar for tomorrow except the study session, so tomorrow will likely be spent contacting different individuals to make plans to meet up and have elevated conversations about our cluster moving forward.

The day ends. Another step along the path has been taken. And I go to bed joyfully….and tired.

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