Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remembering while waiting for the next flight

I am at Sea-Tac airport after nearly three weeks at home: of late mornings spent sipping rich brewed coffee, contemplating the mist shrouded garden; of struggling to decide did I want chicken or beef or seafood for dinner tonight (Mother's love is voiced in her desire to satisfy any food craving I might have). The arid, airport lounge atmosphere which is so familiar to me makes me already long for home. Instead of listening to airport noises, I would maybe pass the late morning supine on my favorite couch hovering between sleep and a novel then heading out for a run along the country highways lacing the hills around my parents' home in Snohomish, WA. Afternoons often found me sipping coffee or tea, catching up with dear friends, or volunteering to make the evening salad. Evenings we'd watch the Olympics.

Home seemed so precious to me this visit. So many family friends are getting older, my parents are getting older. I am getting older. My brother-in-law's father passed away last week and we attended the funeral yesterday.I felt so sorry for him, and tried to breathe into the family future. Yet the preciousness did not dispel the old aggravations and patterns of behavior I have adopted at home since age 10. I might be 52 but I still have a long way to go to some days.

Some friends have asked why I choose to go home for such long periods of time. I go because it helps me to remember who I am. A close friend preached about remembering on Sunday, and it really struck home with me. I remember I am a son, I come from Snohomish, nothing too la-de-da. I am not self sufficient, but count on the love and care of family and friends. And I need the help of God to get out of my head, to unplug the "hard wiring" that makes me reactive and childish.

It is good to be mindful of these things heading to Papua New Guinea for the Ministers Meeting of the First Order Brothers and Sisters of the order. There is so much about famly life and home that permeate our Franciscan life. We call each other brother and sister for a reason.

I think the order is in a good place. We'll see what everybody else thinks soon. I feel better having sunk my roots down into home soil. We have to remember who we are, it will give direction and focus to our talks. Please keep us in your prayers!.