I've moaned recently about how difficult it is to find a sense of tight community outside religious congregations. To quote one of Joel's previous comments:
The natural world...is quite capable of moving us toward a very religious sense of awe. What is more difficult [to achieve] is the sense of comfort, of belonging, and most of all, community that traditional worship provides.
In general, I think this is observation is correct.
The past few days have been wonderful, though, have provided a sense of belonging and family outside a church.
Our book group meeting on Saturday evening was filled with food, warmth, and conversation. Though we met for twice as long as normal (six hours instead of three), we spent little time discussing the book. Instead we ate cheese and crackers and olives and beans and rice and pasta and wienerschnitzel and apple dumplings and lemon souffle and raspberry tart, most of which were recipes from the book. We drank wine. We laughed and chatted about our lives. Craig and Lisa brought little Albert—not even a month old and already attending his first book group discussion!
After we'd glutted ourselves we took our ease in the hot tub.
It was a delightful evening, and I'm sad that Mary and Pam were unable to join us.
On Sunday morning, Kris and I met Amy Jo in Portland for breakfast. She was in town for a geography conference, and we were happy to see her. (I was still quite groggy from the night before, though, and not the best of company. The grogginess actually lasted all day.) We regret not having been able to visit her and Paul in Virginia this year, but maybe we can do so in the future.
In the evening we met the Gingeriches at
Tonight we met for our weekly Monday Night Football dinner. It was the first chance that Kris and I have had to see Roger and Kristin's new house. It's fantastic. They've an acre in the country, just down the road from Zion Mennonite Church, in a perfect location for the kids. They've done a lot of work on the house and on the land, and it really does look wonderful. I'm covetous.
The MNF dinners have been wonderful this year. The kids are getting old enough that they're semi-self-directed while playing. The food has been great (tonight's pork was delicious). Everything has seemed so much more relaxed. Meanwhile, I've been able to chat with people that I don't get to see all the time. This group feels very much like home to me. They're the people I grew up with, and though we may not have heart-to-heart talks very often, there's a deep bond there which I value.
Over the past few days, I've felt some close familial ties outside a congregational setting. It's not quite the same thing one feels when with a church family, but perhaps it's enough.
On this day at foldedspace.org
2005 — Chapulines José recently received a shipment from his mother in Oaxaca. She sent him traditional Mexican food that he can't find in Oregon, not even in Woodburn. Yesterday he brought grasshoppers.
2004 — Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Last night, Dave and I saw Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.
2002 — Reed College 7, FC Saints 1 Another Sunday, another soccer match, another injury.