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with me

We moved on Saturday. Three men and a 26-foot truck pulled up to our house at 3:30 pm and loaded up every last one of our earthly possessions. I jammed cleaning supplies, propane tanks, a few fragile things, and two stressed felines into my car and we all said goodbye to the crooked little house in St. Lazare.

As I drove off, I tried to look for everything that I loved about living in this place so that I could remember it with thankfulness one more time. Things like the waist-high lilac bushes I had planted almost two years ago which were just starting to flower for the first time. The patch of bush right next door which housed bunnies and the occasional fox. My hairdresser and the car wash guys and the garden centre folks and the local mechanic who all managed to make me feel like I was the most important person in their day in that typical, small-town, unhurried fashion. The Wal-mart just seven minutes from my house were I could buy everything from cheese curds to cat litter.

As I was crossing the bridge onto the island of Montreal, the cats wailing their fear and uncertainty in the background, we came upon one of my favourite scenes. Having grown up on the prairies which are nowhere near any water, I cherish the sight of the agua every time I cross the bridge into the city and feast my eyes on the beautiful landscape, never wanting to take it for granted. Speaking in that tone of voice that one uses to calm stressed-out felines down, I began to describe the blue water, the distant hills, and the greening trees. Jazz just howled louder and Tea crammed herself as far back in her cage as she could. It was sad and funny at the same time.

I said, "Oh, kitties, don't you worry. We're going to a new place which you will really like. It has stairs and some cool high places to sit and little nooks to explore. I know you don't understand where we are going, but you don't have to freak out, because you're with me. It's going to be okay. You're with me!" And then I started to repeat this phrase over and over again, louder and louder, as it became truer and truer for all of us in that little Toyota Echo. "You're with me! You're with me! You're with ME!"

As I spoke this reassurance to my cats, God spoke his reassurance to me. I am with God and no matter where I go or how I get there or what disconcerting detours may come my way, I'm with Him. And even when this is the only constant in my life, or at least it seems that way, this God-with-me truth is enough.

This is the sunset tonight over the golf course at the end of my new street. It appears that I have not left all the best scenic spots behind after all.

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