In Winnipeg, where I grew up, I went to the artsy university. Serious students who wanted to advance in the fields of engineering or medical sciences migrated to the south of the city, where they tramped from building to building (in -40 temperatures!) on the sprawling campus of the University of Manitoba. Us hippie wannabees (Born a decade too late, to my chagrin) sluffed around the halls of the much smaller University of Winnipeg in our long skirts, socks and Birkenstock sandals (in Winnipeg winters, you try wearing sandals without socks!). We were the socially conscious, Earth Mother-y, community focused type. The UofM’ers? They were the science nerds or the corporate climbers.
Eventually my Birkenstocks fell to pieces and I graduated to pointy toed high heel shoes (thanks Stacey and Clinton!). For eight years, the House of Prayer was graciously hosted by the Crossroads Centre (home of 100 Huntley St.) Dress code in that facility was business casual, and I enjoyed “putting myself together”, shoes and all, every morning to blend in with the corporate culture.
The other day I went to the store and got myself a pair of Birkenstocks – my first since University days. Our new prayer locations in downtown are walking distance from Kirk’s and my new house (yipee!). Part of our decision to relocate everything to the urban core of the city is that we want to be community focused. Up until now, I have spent entirely too much time in my car, zipping from city to city, cocooned in glass and steel. We want to live near where we work, invest in and bless our local community. I want to walk to work. Stop in in the Portuguese grocery on the way home. Pray for my neighborhoods and get to know my neighbors as I travel through. And the half hour walk to work means that I can’t wear $6.99 castoffs from Value Village anymore – and certainly not pointy toed heels!
It feels a lot like going back my roots, the ideals I held in my University days. Not wearing socks with my new sandals yet, but come the cold weather…