Friday, January 20, 2006

What do I think about?

Actually, I hate not having my camera though any pictures I would take would be multiple shades of gray. I do a lot of thinking on my walks between squirrel sightings so what did I ponder yesterday?

First of all, I noticed that at least two families on my street have not taken down their Christmas trees. This is strange to me so then I wonder why. Are they gone? Doesn't look like it. Are they depressed and unable to function because of the rain? Hmmm! Maybe! One of the houses is brand new and not quite finished and I had heard they were from California. Yea, this is a little more soggy than California. Maybe they like their tree a lot. Maybe they are some type of Orthodox and the tree stays up until their Epiphany. Maybe they just have not managed to get to it. And they have old-fashioned tinsel on the tree. In the 50's and early 60's, that was the thing--to put tons and tons of tinsel on the tree one strand at a time.

This is Martin Luther King week. Kaley has an assembly today. Yesterday, I thought about what difference Martin Luther King's efforts have made in my community which is still mostly white and Asian. One of the two multi-million dollar 10,000 plus square foot mansions on my street is occupied by an African American family. Actually, they still have their Christmas decorations on their gigantic entrance gate come to think of it. You know, most of the time that gate is open and at times (when it is not pouring rain) their children are riding bikes with the other kids on the block--Asian, white, Black.

An Indian family from India lives across the street from them. When they have family visit from India, I see them on long walks in vibrant gorgeous clothing. We wave. Apolo and I are a familiar sight. We have at least two other African American families on my walking route. At school, Kaley has three good friends who are African American. One of them is one of her best friends. Maybe this is a change but this community has a long way to go to be truly diverse. An article in the paper the other day indicated that the percentage of Black students at UW is still pitifully small.

On the second half of my walk, I thought about the church meeting we had had the night before. The purpose of it was to brainstorm about our future. Particularly, what is it about our church that we can emphasize to make people welcome? Church should not be hard; it is not our job but God's job to evaluate the folks who come through our doors. I pointed out that the reason I was there was because when we were all together, Jesus was amongst us and we were washed with the Holy Spirit--not a difficult concept. We offer Holy Communion without condition--no ID or card checking at the altar rail. This was just a "tad" more important to me than my investment club, for example.

The room was silent for a few seconds. Sometimes I get frustrated because people make things harder than they ought to be. Another person finally popped up and remphasized a thought that had come to her the day before: "We... our church is passionate about the Love of Christ!" Duh! To me, that is the bottom line. I do not care that there is a gay bishop 2000 miles away in New Hampshire. Our priest isn't gay but who am I to make a judgment about that anyway? He is divorced and remarried and that is none of my business either. I would take Communion from him no matter what because that is my time in personal touch with Our Lord. No, church should not be hard. We mind our own hearts and joyfully share our passion about the Love of Christ with others without judgment. Period.

As I continued my walk, I thought "Blackberry bushes are something else!" They are all over the place and poor Apolo sometimes gets the thorns in his foot or tail. They are weeds that people try to dig out of their gardens on a constant basis. Our church is surrounded by massive bushes 10 feet tall that have to be hacked back with machetes while dressed in complete body armor. And they grow behind our fence at home on the steep slope. Though deciduous, not all of the leaves have fallen off back there, so luckily the bushes have formed a type of umbrella with roots. Not only did we get some yummy jars of jam but they are protecting us, too. The second, however, they reach under or over the fence into the yard it is "Whack! Whack!" This must be a good metaphor for something.

Finally, I thought about how happy Apolo is all of the time. He loves his walks with unabashed joy. His tail is up and his face is smily. He is completely contented to be tethered to me and he always has the time of his life. Life is simple for him.

Photos taken when we got our Christmas Tree
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Blackberry bushes take over Whidbey Island barn

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This is what happens without diligence!