I was out of town and generally out of the range of the Internet this past Friday, so I didn’t have an opportunity to play the RevGalBlogPals’ Friday Five until today. Our topic: Name five things you’ve enjoyed in the past week. In order to be consistent with my fellow bloggers, I am going to use the time frame beginning the previous Saturday and ending this past Saturday.
Five Things I’ve Enjoyed in the Past Week (in no particular order)
1. Making and eating a humongous crockpot of beef vegetable soup using the tail end of all that great late-summer farmers’ market produce – green beans, zucchini and cookneck squash, cauliflower and dead-ripe tomatoes. I honestly could eat homemade soup every day.
2. The first turning leaves. Saturday afternoon, driving home from my retreat, I couldn’t help but notice how quickly the leaves are changing around here – maples and sumacs seem to be leading the way. And I enjoy the asters and goldenrod along the roadside, and the geese-arrows overhead Fall is my favorite season, so I’m always happy when the shopworn late-summer landscape begins its autumnal transformation.
3. The creative process involved in writing a closing devotional for my retreat…because I never know exactly what I’m going to wind up with when I plan worship. It’s a lot like cooking or gardening that way. This time around I’d begun with the assumption that I’d keep things fairly straightforward and liturgical – some truncated version of the Service of the Word, maybe. Instead I showed up with a farmer’s market peck basket; a pertinent reading from John’s Gospel about bearing fruit; a short extemporaneous chat about taking stock of harvests – I talked about the success of my herb dish garden, the failure of my tomato crop, the pleasant surprise of colorful “volunteer” Johnny-jump-ups in my lawn that wound up filling a space in my perennial bed, and my planting bulbs this fall in the hopes of new life and growth in the spring. I then invited the others in my class to write down a sentence or word describing the yield they’ve received or at least striven for in their spiritual and congregational lives in the past year, as well as a description of the “seeds” they want to nurture in the long term, and place them in my basket. I offered these things up to God in our prayers, and invited the group to add their own prayers for these things and for other occasions for thanksgiving or concern. I’m not sure how much the rest of the group got out of this, but in the context of my own anger and sadness and frustration this past weekend it was both a pleasure and a relief to get out of myself and my feelings long enough to let the Spirit play with images and words and themes from our weekend together and from nature and braid them into at least a semi-coherent ritual of gathering and sending.
4. The story of the Birthday Corn Cob, as related in a prior post. Being a (day after) Christmas baby, my own birthday stories pretty much went downhill after the initial one, so it was fun to be at least a supporting character in someone else’s big day.
5. Turning into my driveway late on a dark, drizzly Saturday afternoon, feeling weepy and despondent, to find FT sitting on my back stairs, soup simmering in my kitchen and our respective dogs dancing and chortling in greeting. However "incompetent" this interpersonal scenario seems to appear to some, in the words of the Dixie Chicks, "It feels like home to me."