Reflections on my 9-Day Service Project

Day 5

Today was an interesting day. A day of backtracking, dodging, and confusion. Through it all, it was a day of joy and delightful donuts! Yes, we made it to Frickin’ Delight Donuts today! But first, our Ruhi study session.

We are more than halfway through the second unit of Ruhi Book 6: Qualities and Attitudes of the Teacher. We will be able to start Unit 3: The Act of Teaching before my 9-Day Service Project ends. We meet every day for approximately 2.5 to 3 hours (with the exception of our Ruhi road trip which was a longer session due to the traveling involved). That gives us the time we need to progress through the sections without compromising the integrity of our understanding. Lots of laughter, along with coffee or tea and treats, and deep discussions equals a successful session.

Confusion: One question stumped us. I looked at my answer from when I had completed the book in the past, and that confused us even more. No matter how we looked at the question, with or without considering my previous answers, we could not understand what we were being asked. We had to finally leave the question. We can go back to it after I have had a chance to consult with another tutor for any gleanings they might have into the question.

My friend was planning to take a trip to Devon with her daughter and I was planning to take a road trip that would start in Devon (at the donut shop) and continue southwest from there. We decided that whoever got to the donut shop first would order for both to ensure they wouldn’t run out before either of us were able to reach the town. Just as I got out of the car, I realized I had left my wallet, complete with my driver’s licence and credit card, at home. Luckily, my friend and her daughter beat me to Devon and was in the line-up when I pulled up. It would not have been of any use if I had arrived first.

Backtracking: It’s always a good idea to have a good friend along when you are trying to get donuts from the favourite shop in the region…without any money. My friend went for a variety of donuts and I went for the cornmeal donuts (yes! Cornmeal!) with the dill pickle soup. We went our separate ways: she to explore the beautiful park they have by the river with her daughter, and me, back home to get my wallet.

Dodging: Then back to Devon to begin my road trip. I dodged the heat and the smoke by spending the day with my dog exploring Highways 39, 22, and 13. We found little gems in the villages, hamlets, and towns we passed, such as: Alsike (where I bought a bottle of pop that required a bottle opener, which I didn’t have), Buck Creek, Westerose, Ma-Me-O Beach, and Mound Red Park.

It was an afternoon spent meditating on my next steps in my 9-Day Service project. How will I keep the momentum going? How will I connect with the friends in my area that I don’t yet know? How will I restart my weekly devotional gatherings when I return in September from visiting my family? How will I deepen the connections that I have started to make during my 9-Day Service project?

The coming week is a busy week. My 9-Day Service will likely be a 10-Day Service instead. I have three planned dates to meet with friends to say prayers and plan. Book 6 study sessions will continue every day. And I will also be driving to Red Deer to meet a friend coming from Calgary with a few hundred newly published booklets of stories about ‘Abdu’l-Bahá for distribution to friends in northern Alberta. And sometime before Sunday, I will be on my way to B.C., barring COVID-19 restrictions and wildfires, to visit my 88-year-old mother (who I last saw this time last year), along with my siblings and close friends in the lower mainland and on the island.

Today is a day when I stopped by the side of the path to admire the path, looking back over where I have come from and looking forward to where I am heading. A day to breathe deeply and regenerate for the week ahead.

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