Monday, 19 May 2008

Blooming Marvelous

Spring is definitely in full flow and it is wonderful. Spring was always a season I missed in Colorado and it is great to see fields which are yellow with dandelions and cowslips, there are also little flushes of blue forget-me-nots appearing. The Latvian gardens are also looking good, and nearly everyone has their bit of ground dug for potatoes and whatever else they are growing. Seasons matter here and life is very much governed by the season, there is so much activity at the moment as people get their gardens in order after the winter and now there is not so much danger of frosts (mind you it is supposed to get rather cold again this next week). It is definitely a time to be planting and already some of the first seeds are starting to appear. I love to see the dark brown soil (dirt) furrows which have been freshly turned and they seem to promise so much in the way of life and yet you can't see it at the moment.

The apple trees and the Linden trees are also in bloom and you can smell the heady scent of the Linden tree as you walk. I also noticed the lilac trees are about to bloom so that will add to the clean fresh air. You can smell so much more with the damper air than in the drier climate of Colorado, from the smell of damp soil (dirt) to the trees, it seems so rich. Colorado was awe inspiring, Latvia feels comfortable if small and compact. We jokingly talk about going over the mountain pass to get to the nearest big town as it could indeed be the highest road in Latvia as it is so close to the highest point in Latvia - a grand total of 312m (1023ft) which is rather lower than we used to live at on the plains of Colorado around 1524m (5000ft) and certainly lower than the nearby mountain passes at around 3048m (10,000ft). Distances here are measured in time taken to travel rather than in miles or kilometres because a road can be so bad that it takes rather longer to travel than on a paved road (even some of those can be atrocious).

This last week I have been in the Netherlands as I mentioned in my last post and that was a good time of connecting with people. It was quite embarrassing at times as I had problems remembering my English English (if you understand what I mean) as I had got so used to talking to Americans and now Latvians. It was fascinating though listening to lots of other languages such as Swedish and Dutch of course. I was amazed at how much I could pick up by listening to the translation. I love listening to different languages and trying to understand what people are saying, and Latvian has a lovely melody with distinct words - not like Copenhagen Danish which always seemed like an express train with very little intonation and certainly hard to pick out individual words.

I am not quite sure why God wanted me there but I met some great people and one young german lass, now living in Edinburgh, who I got on with really well had a real passion for people, especially for those on the margins of the Christian community and she had a love of Jesus that shone through.  One of the Latvian ladies also had a passion to see ladies grow up on the inside and be released, I love meeting people like that. 

When I returned to Latvia, Ian and I went to straight to see some friends in Til┼ża on the East of Latvia. They have been steadily working into the area building up relationships, Gints who was one of those working on our apartment is being brought up like a son by our friends, giving him the opportunity to find out about life that does not revolve around drink and getting drunk. He was also baptized in probably a chilly lake on Friday. 

We are just moving onto the next phase in our renovations and that is to tile the hall floor, we bought the tiles today, which is an achievement as they actually had enough to do the hall and the kitchen. Another achievement was to order some handmade wrought iron work curtain rails - it was a good job the girl could speak some English and eventually she understood what we meant. I am really pleased that we can get some genuine hand made ones and support the people in Latvia in the process, hopefully I understood the pricing on them! 


Mavis said...

I've just checked out your blog after seeing your comments on Martin Scott's blog. Like you, I have, along with a number of my close friends, 'opted out' of congregating. As you say, it is sometimes a bit odd trying to say this to people, especially when they ask which 'church' I go to. I am interested in following your journey and how you are working out God's plans for your life. So I will drop by from time to time. Mavis

Joanna said...

Thank you Mavis for your comments and look forward to you dropping by with more comments. I think it is hard sometimes for people to realise that we have in no way opted out of the Body of Christ in fact we saw our part as blood (my husband's job involved working with blood so seems appropriate) which has a much more fluid shape, and moves around the rest of the Body. I will be interested to see where that takes us.