I was inspired by Kelly Kikipotamus' visit to a church a few Sundays ago and wanted to do the same. I've felt more and more as though my church and I are not a match. I've been going since April, so for seven months, and what worked in the beginning no longer fits who I am, if it ever did. I no longer belong and I don't want to fit myself in. As much as I do enjoy Rick's Church of What Works, I want to go to a church IRL as well. Something in me keeps wanting that tangibility and physicality.
Sometimes I wonder if I ever will find the "instant community" that Kelly spoke of--anywhere. I change and grow so much. Yet still I long for friends who are local and for like-minded people with whom I can share common values.
This Sunday I was excited to try a place that is the closest match I've could imagine. But then I slept in, right through the service start time (10AM). So I decided to have a Sunday adventure instead.
LoveHubbie and I decided to go every weekend to our local Farmer's Market and fresh fish shop. But he chooses to work every day, even on weekends, and rarely has time. So this weekend I went alone. It was so fantastic. I decided to wait and see what I would see and what I would discover, and just let the day unfold. This has always been one of my favorite things to do.
First of all, I heard some bagpipes playing, quite a few of them. So I followed the sounds and saw this:
Olympia is an interesting place, but this was unusual even for here. It ended up that they were a group of bagpipe players rehearsing for a big holiday parade. I usually avoid such things (crowds), but for some reason I was up for it on Sunday. I didn't stand and watch the parade, but walked all around while it was going on, meeting people's eyes, everyone, connecting in small ways, sharing love. It was a delightful time. Hard to believe I could have such a nice time around a large group of people.
At one point I encountered an arts & crafts street fair. I bought a necklace and a small "baby" purse to go in my "Momma"purse, so I can offload what I need for a given stop and leave the Momma in the care and load the baby for the trip.
Here is the necklace. The pendant is made of felted wool by a local artist:
Here is the purse, also felted wool by the same artist. I'll show you my Momma purse so you can see how it fits:
Making the street fair come alive was a busker. He was playing in the freezing weather, and he was so joyful. I dropped a dollar into his guitar case and he smiled a big smile in gratitude. Then I noticed that there were only three one dollar bills in his case and a little change and the fair was almost at its close. As I walked away I thought of my wonderful friend Dwight, who is an Australian librarian and web designer turned traveling busker, and felt very wistful. A voice kept telling me to go back, go back.
So I turned around, went back and put all the cash I had left into his case, which was only about $7 or so. But still. I wanted him to know he made a difference in my day. He was overjoyed and received my message, I could tell.
I had a great Sunday adventure.
I was aware that it was the first day of Advent. I am entranced by the Church year, intrigued by the idea of darkness and waiting and the beginning of a season that culminates with a spiritual highlight--Christmas--that I don't really understand. This year the whole season means something different to me, something spiritual, but what exactly, I don't know. I feel as though this year I'm going to discover what it means and it will be something new.
In past years Christmas has been a painful time. I've written about my mother's suicide attempt and LoveHubbie's children before, so you know that I don't really celebrate Christmas much. We all know that Jesus was born we all are glad but the idea of a day to run around and give each other gifts because of it never made much sense to me. This year is different. The pain is behind me, the past, all of the old stuff. I don't know what this Christmas means, but I am excited to find out.