Last Sunday was exceptional in several ways, and since it was both the first day of September and the front edge of the new moon cycle, the time when we plant seeds and intentions for growth in the coming weeks, I am accepting the specialness of that one day as a gift meant to extend into the near future.
Early that morning I enjoyed an hour or so alone, reading devotionals and journaling my pre-dawn thoughts, teasing our scriptures that spoke to me.
Then I drove to a nearby park to run with some local friends, an indulgence I rarely allow myself. It was fun and sweaty and overall good for my soul. These runners are all chasing big goals, which motivates me; and they are each fascinating people, full spectrum humans who are just plain fun to talk to. If you are a runner, then you have probably experienced that strange and wonderful phenomenon of striking up deep and sudden personal conversation with the person moving in the same plane, just adjacent to your elbow. I am sure there is plenty of science and psychology to support this; all I know is that this unique shared space, the talking we do while running, is some of life’s best conversation.
Around mile 4 or 5, the group encountered a mammoth cottonwood tree, fallen from recent storms. Its trunk was maybe three feet in diameter and lying across the path. We all slowed to navigate the roadblock safely; then my new friend Lori nearly tripped on an unrelated twig. We laughed and immediately saw the connection to real life: That we can avoid the big stuff easily enough but get tripped up on the details. It was funny for a moment then the profound truth of it really stilled me.
While I was with friends, Handsome made some exciting progress on the Batmobile. If I haven’t told you yet, he is transforming a 1964 Ford Thunderbird into a real and true Batmobile for use in our Outreach events. This project deserves lots of its own posts and photos, which I will tend to soon. But for now, just know that seeing him enjoying this work is so gratifying, so heartwarming.
Midday, Handsome and I ran a few errands together and decided to swap a planned zoo date for a spontaneous bonfire gathering at the farm. We sent out a handful of invitations and gathered a few things to eat. Then we luxuriated in the cool dark of our living room until dusk, when friends started filtering in.
Two couples from different social circles plus two young adult couples (very sweet kids of our new friends Francis and Latonya) helped us fill the deck. We all nibbled on plates of food and chatted easily about everything. We learned a lot about each other, and I was amazed by the accidental chemistry of the tiny group. Don’t you love it when that happens? We meandered onto topics like religion versus spirituality and energy healing and barefoot grounding, and (my favorite topic that night) the power of music to evoke emotion and inspire us, especially during worship. The six of us adults were all from varying backgrounds. This never ceases to amaze me, how unique our upbringings can be, even as we all seem to live in this homogenous American culture. And we danced! Lynn is a professional dancer and studio owner and an excellent conversationalist, and I love her. She so generously taught me two simple foundational steps, and we practiced barefoot on the wooden deck. Later, I asked Handsome to dance with me to What a Wonderful World, and one by one each of our friends took someone’s hand. Soon everyone, of all ages, was swaying and humming under the lights. Moments like this sear into my heart’s memory in the best way.
So if all of that beauty from last Sunday could be packaged and promoted, laid as a wrapped gift at the doorstep of each new day this month, then September should be quite beautiful. We can expect movement and connection. Dancing and fireside safety of communal spirits. We can look forward to teenagers and young adults and married couples surrounding and warming our own love nest. Running with the rising sun and unexpected lessons from fallen trees, good meals and great music and attention to detail, these gifts will infuse our threshold month with beauty. Crossing over from summertime to autumn will be graceful and intentional, and for all of this I am already so grateful.
Speaking of young adults, Jocelyn will be 24 tomorrow. Every time I to speak her name or write about her, it hurts more than I expect it to. She is ok, I believe, but I miss her so much, we all do. This is not the first birthday of hers when we have been separated but this time it feels different. It feels riddled with misunderstanding, and that make the grief of apartness more difficult. They say that grief is love not yet fully expressed, and this is so true with my girls. Ever big and little things I crave to do for them or say to them, it binds up in my throat or in my belly and ferments a little. Enough has happened over the years that in grand ways I do trust that God will move in His time and even restore what the locusts have eaten away. That is an assurance that never trembles. But the aching to connect, that intense craving to share in her beautiful life and to have her share in ours, it is strong.
Happiest of birthdays, my magical girl. Thank you, friends, for sharing your love and energy with us last Sunday. The healing energy from those gatherings will carry us through, I already feel it. Happy September!