We went to the Twin Cities this weekend. It had been planned a while back. A friend was having a birthday, and we just hadn't been there in a while. It was time to go hang out, catch up, visit my favorite bookstore, thrift shop. Attend service at St. M's again (my former parish and still Church of my Heart). Just a regular visit to the old home town. But this time there was an extra stop. After church, during which the Bright and Shining Rector preached one of her splendid sermons, we went over to as close as you can get to the site of the bridge fall, a park overlooking the river. It has become a sort of pilgrimage site. It was a place where people watched the first events on Wednesday and have been coming ever since. Where they have erected a small shrine to those who are lost and those who serve. It is a somber place. The walk way spirals around a hill there. This is a new place for me, built since I moved away. As I walked to the top, I thought about my last post on the pilgrim way. People are very quiet, respectful, helping one another up the hill with strollers, waiting patiently for parking places and slower walkers. At the top, they stand, silent, and just look at where the bridge simply stops, where space is where bridge was. It's really too far for the camera to capture, but I felt the need to try, to somehow make real for myself, it is not here, it's really not.
The Bright and Shining Rector's sermon was a wonderful weaving of the readings from Ecclesiastes and Luke with the quote from Mary Oliver about "what will you do with your one wild and precious life." It left me breathless with gratitude. As I listened to her, I realized how totally blessed I am. I have found the place that Buechner talks about, the place where my passion meets, if not the world's, at least, some folks in this small place's need. And I love most of what I do a good percentage of the time. It was particularly poignant and apt this week. As she said, how could she not preach this sermon this week, the deep questions, it is just here before us, in the air to be asked, in the Scriptures and in our lives. This is good to be reminded of now and again. And a good place from which to head off on retreat. So taking all your prayers and thoughts, yurt-ward I go.