Monday, November 12, 2012

snippets

It was cold Saturday. It was twenty-nine degrees (F) and rainy on and off... ice created rampant structures everywhere. We had a funeral for M, buried a sister, auntie, cousin, mother, grandmother. She had planned her own give-away, collected stuff for years --ever since her husband died --and it took an hour  for the eight grandchildren to distribute the gifts. M was a quilter --so in the mix of give-away stuff were pieced quilt tops.

We drove the 40 miles east to the cemetery --very slowly, looking for the patches of ice. We were the only traffic to speak of on the road --the main highway that runs east to west. She was wrapped in a heavy blanket as we gave her back to mother earth --we gathered around, the wind cutting through us with a biting minus-four windchill. I looked around as the singers sang the Traditional song, I looked for you, but I couldn't find you, where are you, where have you gone?  --and I realized all the children stood around the gaping hole in the earth wrapped in star quilts --probably made by their mother... a constellation of love as they bade her farewell.

Sunday morning was even colder. So cold the double doors to the church were frozen shut. I had to go outside and chip the ice away--come back inside and do the same... and by the time I got back outside, more ice had formed. I finally won the battle... got the doors open ten minutes before church was to begin. And we filled the church --a happy excitement rushed among us --greeting one another and the cold and the snow.

Then I put Deacon and a lay reader in the car and we drove, very slowly, the road to Cherry Creek. I had received three phone calls --are you coming? --are you really coming? Yes, I would say --and then ask if the roads were dangerous --well, they would say, it's winter.... So we got there, safely, and somebody had lit a fire earlier, but it was only smoldering when we arrived --and that's when I learned that the really cool portable propane heaters M bought for us required batteries... so, we messed some more with the fire, knocked the dreadful chill off --gathered around the stove together and prayed, shared bread and wine --and then some chili.

it's 18 degrees (F) outside, maybe 32 degrees inside --but 21 of us gathered in St. Andrew's, Cherry Creek, SD

One the way home I was overwhelmed (again) with the wild beauty of this place, and got out and snapped a picture of the hills lightly brushed with snow --hills behind the river valley --that's the Cheyenne River that stretches all the way to the foot of the Black Hills. Cherry Creek is at the confluence of the Cheyenne and what's now called Cherry Creek --French fur trappers noted a settlement there in the early 1700s.... The People have lived there for a very long time. And I was thinking about that, and then my camera froze and wouldn't take the shot of the wild horses, so I gratefully clambered back in to the car.

And, then I got back home, a pot of tea in the making --and got two calls --two funerals --two young men... one died because he got kicked by a cow, hurt his lungs and got pneumonia and sepsis... not yet 30 years old. The young man, about 32 years old --I am not sure how he died, but he was found behind the Post Office. Too much caffeine, I was told....

--and the cow jumped over the moon....

And then another young man called --it was just as we were starting dinner and settling in to watch our Korean historical soap opera on the computer --and he needed a ride over to the police station. I went and found his house in the dark night, gave him a ride over --waited for him to check in with the police -and then drove him back to his house.... He wanted me to drive him 40 miles round-trip to Dupree so that he could pick up some clothes, but I said no. Not right then. Though I didn't tell him at the time, I suppose I will, one day soon... but not right then.

And now, I will go shovel Deacon's walkway --we got her some nifty crampons because the ice can be so treacherous... got some for ourselves too... I finally talked Joel in to some winter boots... and I will meet the family to plan a funeral in just a few....

--and I am still being fed gratitude  --grateful for the church services yesterday --for the snippets of glory I see all around --grateful for all those un-nameable things....

At prayer this morning (beginning at Luke 14:12)

Jesus said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

Yes. They cannot repay you....

--and we can never repay them for what has been done....

But, perhaps together....

Amen.

1 comment:

JCF said...

Oooh, new wallpaper pic: beautiful!

Prayers for "all the lonely people", Margaret (your posts seem to put Eleanor Rigby in my mind)

Where DO they all belong? :-(