This day seems to be the forgotten holiday of the year. There is no lead-up to Good Friday. No frenzied fanfare of festivity. No elaborate feasts to plan and prepare. That is probably why I like it the best.
Good Friday really is a day off from the bustle and hustle of the consumer world. No sales. Just time to contemplate the world. I am sitting here this morning with a second cup of coffee, watching the sun peak over the horizon. There is a slight mist on the roofs of the houses as the day slips from springtime chill to springtime warmth.
I have time to think. Let my brain play with words. Roofs. Rooves. I remember learning in school that the plural of roof was rooves. But now we use the american “roofs”. When did that change? The rule was if it is ends in ‘f’ or ‘fe’ then to make the plural you drop the “f” sound and writes “ves”.
dwarf to dwarves
elf to elves
hoof to hooves
knife to knives
leaf to leaves
life to lives
self to selves
wolf to wolves
Of course then there are words that ignore the rule anyway – like the plural of beef is not beeves. And the plural of proof is not prooves.
Ah english the language of rules, and long lists of exceptions to the rules!
See Good Friday is for getting diverted and contemplative. The above was simply pointless stream of consciousness. A raw slice of my brain straight up. I am full of trivia. Or full of something.
My favourite memory of Good Friday is from many many many years ago. I was in my early twenties. I was with some friends driving up to Midland, Ontario to find a very specific restaurant that served Lake Huron whitefish. The driver had heard the food was incredibly fresh and delicious.
Now I don’t remember the restaurant name but I do think it was Henry’s Fish Restaurant. I’ve been back a few times so my memory may be muddled. And the fish is still incredible!
The memory wasn’t about the destination. It was the journey. A foggy Good Friday. Dense white cotton fog slowing us down to below the speed-limit. The trees and posts shadowy black markers flashing by us. The road shiny black and slick. And no-one else on the road. Just us – some friends on a journey.
In the back of the car was a book – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – and it was an incredible find. At that moment, in that space, that book and the message inside clicked with me. There are concepts in that book that I had no idea could actually exist! My friend – the driver of the car – saw me thumbing through the book and gave it to me.
I can see that same book looking at me from my shelves. It is bedraggled and stained and dog-eared. The book has survived the years. My friend died later that year from leukemia. On that Good Friday my friend was a big-man full of life and zest – and by the fall of that year he was an anemic husk gasping for air in a hospital bed. He was much too young to die.
That Good Friday held no hint of the tragedy waiting in our future. We laughed, we talked. We drank beer by the lake. And we discussed philosophy and how we would change the world. By the time we had finished our exploration of Midland – the sun had burned away the morning fog.
On our way back home, we stopped at used bookshops along the way looking for old National Geographic magazines.
Good Friday: A good day to remember how we have arrived at this moment in time.