Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What's Up on the Prairie

It's been pretty quiet in my little corner of the world. We are heading into the dog days of summer around here. High temps and high humidity, which is my kind of weather. Everyone else is whining and I am loving it. Probably because it reminds me of the rivertown summers of my childhood with hot, bright days and gauzy nights full of the sounds of cicadas and nightbirds' calls.

It was a good weekend. Saturday was sermon prep and a little extra church time as I did the bulletins for M who was on vacation, and filled in for the altar guild person who was also gone this week. There is something so sweet to me about Saturday night at church, just putzing around, getting ready for Sunday, making sure everything is all just so, primped and folded, neat and tidy.

Sunday after church I "Sabbathed" by finishing my painting project. I know technically it's work, but it's also creative and restful and satisfying. And it feels ever so good to have one big thing done. Well sort of. I am a messy painter! And now there is the part about getting it off the places it should not be. Even with tape I managed to get paint on the woodwork, the floor and the ceiling. So now that it's all nice and dry, it's time for the solvent and the razor blades. After the painting project I had a nice visit with XDO. We went for ice cream and talked about how things are going since the hospital stay. It feels good to be able to be a supportive friend.

Sunday night I listened to Speaking of Faith on MPR. I really wanted to catch this one, since it was about the importance of play. It was fascinating. People who never played as kids don't tend to turn out well. No surprise. The histories of violent criminals tend to show that they were people who never learned to play well with others. We are apparently wired for play and if we don't, it messes with us in all sorts of ways. So it makes me even happier that I am finally getting the hang of this playing thing at long last! Though I was happy to hear that some of the things I have always done, like reading and writing and daydreaming do count as play. Apparently the sense of timelessness that comes if one is having good play is the thing that really defines it rather than the activity itself. Although active play is good, too, and encouraged, and I do believe I have been far too sedentary in my life! So getting out there and Geocaching is a good thing!

Initially yesterday I thought I was looking at a very quiet week. Then at noon I got a call that a person who had formerly attended our church had died and her family was asking could we have a service for her. Since we rotate the "on-call" duties on our team and it is my turn, I am being tapped, at long last for my first funeral! We have actually kind of joked about this, ordained almost two years and still having not done this...well, now it's time. In a way I think it's kind of easier having this first one be someone I don't really know, but then on the other hand it's also harder. None of the family goes to our church, the parents had in the past and the kids did growing up. The daughter-in-law who called me used to attend but left several years ago....and there is of course some "history" there that I don't know I'm sure. So, Thursday is the day. And it will be fine, of course. This is the beauty of the BCP, one cannot go astray! There will be prayers and scripture, music and time to reflect together on all she meant to those who loved her and the God who loves her, too and welcomes her spirit home. And it will be my privilege to be part of this very intimate moment with strangers.

So that's what's happening in my life. What's up with you?


imngrace said...

Oh, not much going on in my world... :) Thanks again for the kind note. It was appreciated.

Anonymous said...

have you seen the video of some of the texas rangers playing in the rain delay? Several of them decided to turn the tarps covering the field into giant slip and slides. it's fun to watch! i too have recently learned to value playtime so finding affirmations of it are important.

Mary Beth said...

Many blessings for your first funeral.

I love your thoughts on the importance of play...I'm devoted to it and used to think I did it a lot. But reading is really escape for me...play is something else. Sometimes just breathing and listening!

Going to see Mamma Mia movie tonight with church women's group. Now that's play!!

Silent said...

The preschool in our church has signs all over that say something to the effect of "our work is to play." It really is crucial for us -- too bad so many of us adults forget that! (both regarding children AND ourselves)

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Before I forget, I love your phrase about "gauzy nights." That's a lovely turn of phrase.

You're sounding so content, and it's wonderful to read.

My life is going ok. We're starting new writing assignments, but they have leisurely deadlines, for which I'm grateful. I'm trying to catch up on some play myself.

Mrs. M said...

I got to LEM/serve at a funeral a couple of weeks ago (my third), and I know it sounds horrible, but I really enjoy them. Then again, I also like reading in old graveyards. It's not a ghoulish thing in either case, they're both just very peaceful.

mompriest said...

I have done many funerals, and a lot more since I arrived here. You are so right, the BCP will anchor everything and make it whole/holy. May it all be well for you, as your first.

Now I have to go and think about play....I have a colleague in Chicago who does "Interplay" with church vestrys, it's fun and good. If you want more info let me know.

mid-life rookie said...

I had the office personnel blowing bubbles during worship time last week. I preached on joy. Enjoy your playtime. Prayers for the funeral. There's always history in every family and church.