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Seeing through another’s eyes  

It seems like just yesterday that they were little boys, doing what little boys do.  Now, suddenly, they are grown men in their late twenties, leading busy adult lives. I am so proud of these delightful, self assured, kind young men.  Sure, I may be biased, for they are my sister’s sons.  It has been years since I spent time with ‘the boys’ – as my sister affectionately still calls them. You see, they live on the other side of the ocean in Germany.  However, much to my delight, they are here on a visit to beautiful Canada.  Time spent with my sister and ‘the boys’ was far too short. To really get reacquainted with my nephews an extra couple of days with them would have been superb. Yet, during our brief time together I noticed what amazing young men they are.  Now, dear reader, you may think, ‘don’t judge a book by it’s cover’.  Sure, I hear you and am aware of this.  Yes, I may be biased, but hear me out.  Take my younger nephew, for example.  He is very concerned about the state of our world and chose to focus his studies on climate change and dreams of working for an NGO in Nepal.  For several years now, he has chosen to be a vegetarian, prefers to buy used clothing and hardly resembles the many young people who have such a sense of entitlement.

Looking at things Canadian through the eyes of my nephews was quite an eye opener.  They shared how frustrated they were when the car rental dealer in Toronto tried her utmost to convince them that they needed an SUV for their travels.  They could not be swayed, convinced a regular smallish car would serve them very well.  Wherever we drove, they commented on how huge most Canadian vehicles are.  And talking about huge – they couldn’t get over the consumerism.  The multitude of stores everywhere just about overwhelmed them. 

These nephews of mine caused me to pause and ponder about our lifestyle here in North America.  They didn’t much like the concrete jungle of downtown Toronto and though they liked London, Ontario, the forest city, much better, even here they mostly yearned for the outdoors, for a park or a trail.  Unfortunately, it rained most of the time while they were here.  Was this a blessing in disguise?  It afforded me the opportunity to spend treasured moments with my sister and nephews in unplanned and surprising places.  Sure, we went to the quintessential LCBO to check out the wide selection of Canadian beers.  And to the Bulk Store!  You should have seen how fascinated ‘the boys’ were with this concept of scooping whatever into bags.  And, you guessed it, we also ended up in a Goodwill Store where the two ‘big time spenders’ found a few treasures.  Further treasures, of a very different kind, were found in St. Peter’s Basilica.  In the pouring rain we not only found shelter in that magnificent cathedral but shelter in each other as we sat and quietly talked about life, its joys and sorrows, its challenges and blessings. 

What a blessing and gift it was to spend such precious moments with my dear sister and these two wise young men.  I cherish the memory of their presence, their insights, their hugs, the laughter we shared.  Much to my surprise, they remind me of the book ‘Hope for the Flowers’, a fable about life, about revolution and lots of hope.  This precious, albeit brief time with my nephews gives me hope for the future.

Cosmic Agelessness

Wisdom trades places, at home with the young

Seasons pile up

Roles reverse in the natural progression …

 (Jane and Aaron Jackson)


- Sr. Magdalena Vogt, cps

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