The morning was grey and thin as cloth when my mother and I came down to the beach. The surface of the bay lay flat, the colour of aluminum. We sat on a wet cedar log abandoned by the tide. I set the table on a water-worn stump: two teacups, a Thermos full of milky tea, two oat scones hot from the oven. We sat side by side on the log to share our breakfast picnic. As the low swells unfurled themselves like a lace-edged tablecloth against the gravel beach, we talked about the difficult thing we had been circling all summer: my straying faith.
From an essay about my mother I contributed to a new book edited by Mary Ann Loewen. Sons and Mothers is a collection of writings by men from Mennonite backgrounds reflecting on their mothers. Book launch at McNally Robinson on Oct. 3.