Sunday, September 6, 2009

No. 55

1. Two members of our parish died this week. I didn't know either one well--at all really--but there was a certain heaviness in the church today. Something felt amiss, and strange. But there was also a baptism today: a tangible reason to rejoice. And I think the heaviness made the joyfulness all the more light and lovely. Celebration was needed, and it felt so good to celebrate this tiny large-eyed person wearing a wonderful white dress with puffed sleeves, who softly cried as water was poured on her head and we welcomed her into our church family. She snuggled into Sarah's shoulder and resembled a little bear cub, so cuddly and at home in this candle-lit sweet-smelling sanctuary. At church it is not only helpful, but necessary, to rejoice in the midst of mourning. We rejoiced heartily with ice cream cones during coffee hour--a gentle goodbye to summer and a happy embracing of fall's arrival.

2. The surprising sight of the skyline at night. The skyline is surely one of the most spectacular man-made wonder. The Parthenon, the microchip, the skyline--they all evoke a similar awe at humankind's astounding creativity and desire for progress, and beauty.

3. A soul-enlivening conversation with 3-year-old Hana, who summarized for me the plot of "Mamma Mia" and told me that her 1-year-old brother was her hero.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

No. 54

1. A sick day taken, and an afternoon at Chicago Botanical Gardens. Happy to be lazy, laughy, and warm while strolling through all this beautiful fresh life with my kindred spirit. Chicago has lifted itself out of that little dip into fall last week but I am not protesting; I know fall is coming and I will savor this sweet sunshine while it lingers, hanging on desperately to the first weeks of September when bright warmth is still acceptable.

2. The smell of my rosemary plant

3. Not missing the 5:21 train, for once in my life. A few precious free minutes before work to walk up and down a few of Evanston's mansion-lined streets, so quiet and stately in the very early morning light. Being up so early feels like being let in on a secret. I love sleep but I love to wake up.