First Footing: Meditations on Appropriate Footwear

The first day of 2017 did not go the way I was expecting it to (it’s not over yet, Isabella has been cooking a meat sauce since 8am this morning and my body is totally ready to receive this Fagiani family recipe/tradition).  Here’s a wee recap:

I wore inappropriate shoes for ceildh dancing, which was fine as I wasn’t in much of a dancing mood. However, the walk from Avant Garde in Merchant City back to our flat (it was only 1.5 miles but Hogmanay and cobbled streets make everything a wee bit more challenging at 2am…) was a lot more labor intensive than maybe I planned.

I was expecting to go to church today, so that was nice. There were lots of tiny humans (8) in church today which is always unexpected. They were loud and giggly, which is an awesome and wonderful thing. I always really appreciate Christopher’s sermons. They seem to be very salient for my life and touch on some of the things swirling around in my head, and today was no different.

Post-church lunch at Casa Rowe is always baked potatoes and chili. I usually go to Angela and Christopher’s house after church and eat lunch, play with children and just chill. The buses aren’t running today, so it was suggested that after eating, we walk from Milton to the YAV flat for some “first footing.” This tradition entails being the 1st to cross the threshold into someone’s house bringing with you something to keep them warm (coal), something to keep them fed (a black bun), and something to keep them merry (whisky, cuz Scotland). This was an unexpected for the day. My initial plan was to just come home and take a nap, then eat dinner with the YAVs, and talk to my parents.


First footing Rowe style: Kurdish sweets (to keep us fed), wine (to keep us merry), a candle (to keep us warm), and a rose (cuz Aderyn is super in aesthetics and roses are pretty)

But, as with all things in life, God is just out here, challenging expectations, no matter how mundane. It was a solid hour-long walk. Though a wee bit of a chilly day, the sun shone most of the day, and the clouds were doing bits. The Forth and Clyde Canal goes through the city, and we’ve walked some of it. I know it goes through Milton but I usually try to avoid walking for more than 20 minutes, so I’ve never done to walk from Milton back into town (just under 3 miles). But in keeping with my poor footwear choices for the day, I wore TOMS to church this morning. I had socks in my back so my eternally cold feet didn’t freeze. But yeah, TOMS aren’t great walking shoes


Christopher, Carys (bike), Ffion (blue legs), Euan and Aderyn (in buggy) and a beautifully quiet Balmore Road.

All in, I’ll take today (sore feet and all) as a solid start to this new year. 2016 was long and wonderful, it was life-changing and horrible, it was exciting and flew right by. I’m really glad it’s over though. Especially the month of Advent and this past week. The end of the year brought me lots of stress and anger, the excitement of the coming of Christmas, 4 weeks of worship planning and leading, and also tremendous heartache. I’m really into the redemption that comes not only with new days, but even more so a new year.  The past is gone, so we have no choice but to begin anew.

I hope 2017 brings you all continued blessings, challenges, sadness and adventures. Thanks for rockin’ with ya girl. HAPPY NEW YEAR *sings Auld Lang Syne*

No playlist as this a very spontaneous blog (I’m not a fan on spontaneity), but I’ll leave y’all with a fave song, and probs my top vocal performance of 2016. I love the message of this song, and I think going into 2017, asking the question “Are you ready for your blessings?” will be a very salient one for me, and hopefully for you too!



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