I made myself my usual oatmeal and tried to figure out if I would get a pedicure and then go to the beach or go up to Boca to do some more photography at the Japanese garden. My colleague Joe Duggan has been here for the weekend, helping the parts of the New River Regional Ministry begin to have the harder, deeper conversations that no one really wants to have but are essential if this ministry is to survive. Joe and Sherod got up a while after I did and as we discussed the plan for the day, it became clear I needed to participate in this work, even though my role is strange and ambiguous right now. So I did and entered into a day loaded down with history, hurts, hopes, and contradictions that make my head want to explode sometimes.
All the while, I kept thinking about my friend, my dear friend, who was off getting married as we did this work. A little older than me, life has not been easy for someone who was widowed once, divorced the second time around, raised kids as a single mom and now smiles out of pictures with a sparkly spark that makes her and me giggle when we talk about it. Old skins, new wine, Cana.
Then, it was back home to scramble to finish ECF work I had to get done before heading out for a walk earlier than usual but better suited to dinner plans with our houseguest. I hadn’t gotten down the block before I was on the phone with the daughter of the first parishioner at St. Ambrose who took the risk to allow me to be her priest. M. is in hospice and slipping away very quickly. Up the road I went, to Boca, and gathered with her son and his family to say those exquisite words of farewell I have said twice before in the past month. This one got to me. M was conscious enough to listen intently, to whisper amen’s from one petition to the next, to be willing to receive my thanks when I leaned over and kissed her forehead.
I will be up very early tomorrow to finish my sermon on transfiguration, having had one of those days when I am conscious with enormous rawness that it’s not just occasionally, but rather, every. single. day. when briefly, the sun burns away the fog, the clarity pierces, the pieces arrange themselves in stark and complicated simplicity, and I realize way more is asked anew of me, way more than I had dreamed was expected of me or I was capable of doing.
I will slip in between the sheets of my bed tonight aware that I am not the person I was when I woke up this morning, that my world has once again, shifted under me and tomorrow I set out to keep trying to find my way.
Caminante, no hay camino. Se hace camino al andar. Al andar se hace camino y al volver la vista atrás se ve la senda que nunca se ha de volver a pisar. Caminante, no hay camino, sino estelas en la mar.