In the crazy way that life works out, it was me who needed the break from Everyday God. What has been exciting and fulfilling on the one hand has left me weary and needing rest on the other. So last Wednesday, we gathered to wrap-up this leg of our shared journey. And to discuss our next steps.
It seems that this little bit of spiritual food I served each week to a small group of women has whet their appetites for more. It’s a good sign that they are not ready for it to end, though I know that part of Everyday God’s appeal is that it allows folks to just show up, without the need for advance preparation. Life is way too busy for most to add to their already full plates, though the desire is often there.
What ever happened to those lazy days of summer? Was it just a childhood myth that evaported into thin air as we grew into adults? Thinking back to my Granny’s life, during the years Granddad was growing acres of fresh vegatables and melons, summers were anything but lazy, as Granny and Aunt Jane were always busy canning tomatoes or green beans or whatever for Granny’ pantry.
Memories of those hot summer days were preserved not so long ago that they are still easily recalled. Most days I drove my 1972 Camaro back and forth to a TG&Y Family Center where I worked in Oklahoma City. But whenever I had a day off, I would normally spend it in Granny’s country kitchen. I was never much help though I grew tired anyway, just from watching Granny and Jane work.
Granny’s kitchen was cooled by a big south window, so canning activities always took place in the morning before the kitchen grew unbearably hot. In the evening, they’d take their work outside where they could catch a cool breeze — and beneath a big Pecan tree just outside Granny’s kitchen–Granny and Jane and whoever else happened to drop by or responded to their invitation would pull up an old metal chair to rest their weay bones as they husked corn or snapped green beans or shelled black-eyed peas. And with busy hands, they would simply visit about everyday life.
I pulled up my motel chair every chance I got, partly because it was just lovely to be in the midst of this group of women and partly because I never knew what would come out of their mouths. Sometimes a little bit of gossip, but more often than not, it would be a story from their own everyday lives. Past and present.
“Hey, did you hear…..?” Before the complete story could be told, one aunt would cut the other off in mid-stream. “Oh no. That’s not what I heard…” Then quickly… “Well, what did you hear? And so it went. My two aunts held jobs in the midst of a thrving downtown, which pretty much made them authorities on the entire town’s doings. As the Aunts battled over their talk of town, Granny would listen quietly as she battled her arthritic hands to finish her evening’s allotment of vegtables.
The Circle from my past was interested in preserving food for the table while this Circle from my present is focused on food for the Spirit. Yet both are bound together by a shared interest in getting to the truth of each other’s everyday life stories. And this bit of shared thread is one that invites me to continue pulling up my chair to this newest Circle in my life. Perhaps, after three years and five hundred miles since belonging to my last, I may be finally finding my own seat within a new circle of chairs. Time, as they say, always tells the story. For now, I know our Everyday God Circle has agreed to meet monthly, where we will share the load of telling the Story and together, will listen to each other’s life.
I look forward to playing the part of Granny at August’s gathering of circled chairs.