A break in the action

Four of us will be heading across the country early tomorrow morning. We will be attending a conference in Spokane; I’ve never been there. Half of me is looking forward to a new place, a new experience, perhaps with new friends, but certainly with some old ones. There will be good people doing good work in Spokane, and I’m happy to be a part of it.

My other half isn’t so thrilled. I like staying home now. I’ve traveled a lot in my life and I loved it, but now I much prefer to stay home. I like my bed, “my” cat, my routines, my sisters, my bioregion. And I don’t like contributing to massive air pollution by hopping on a jet and whizzing cross country to the opposite coast, then whizzing back again in just four days (to say nothing of the traveling woes we all experience these days).

What a conflict.

I’ll miss blogging. And I’ll miss the change that occurs each day in the cheeses just made. I’ll miss one of our sisters going off to Ithaca for a weekend of preaching and fellowship. I’ll miss the daily routines, my work in the kitchen, the offices and our wisdom sharing. The birds at the feeders, the ducks, the dog and cats. The parakeet scolding the plumber who will come to fix the toilet that finally gave up the ghost yesterday.

I love being home, with all that “home” means. Perhaps that’s a wee indication that age is making it mark, taking its toll with me. Or maybe it’s a reflection of my deepening awareness of the value of “home”.

I will be back on Ash Wednesday. Back to walk through that solemn door into the season of reflection. Hopefully we will be “sugaring” then, too, providing a rich mix of sweet and bittersweet. So much to think about, meditate upon, experience, evaluate, and learn from.

A good life is a balanced one, and that isn’t an easy journey. All the ingredients are there, but stirring them into a tasty treat takes time and skill, and is only possible with the companionship and support of one’s friends and family, along with a healthy dash of God’s grace and guidance. Sometimes that mixture seems more like chaos than creativity. So today I’ll rush around, packing, watering plants, leaving cat-care instructions and trying to get myself organized. This, too, becomes part of the tapestry of life.

Before I know it, the conference will be over and I will be on a plane home, pondering once again the meaning of the fact of my own dustiness, my own source, and the Source of All Being. I wish for you all traveling mercies, whereever your own journey leads over these next few days. Till Ash Wednesday …

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