It’s weird. I am “hurtling” north on Interstate 35 yet it seems as though I’m going back in time.
Memory triggers for me included Bruceville-Eddy, home of Greene Family Camp where I studied world religions with students from 4 different seminaries; Lorena, where a friend used to live and we studied together; Waco, where I lived and worked for 3 1/2 years and have gone back as a Board workshop facilitator and as a consultant; Elm Mott, where a pair of sisters grew up and each became UU; Lake Whitney, where I know someone who used to be UU in membership but is still UU in practice.
I approached Dallas where I attended Perkins School of Theology and taught classes at First Unitarian-Dallas, then veered off toward Ft. Worth and Arlington, where I was a student minister. These were all places where I taught and served and learned ever so much. Memories of those I married, those I buried, those I blessed, and those I left behind.
Back in time. All these thoughts were mixed with the knowledge of leave-taking from my current ministry and with the personal growth and setbacks and losses and gains I’ve experienced over these years. Oh, the places I’ve been!
So I was moving forward and backward in time and space, watching 20-25 years pass before my eyes–not in a flash as is told regarding near-death experiences, but in slow motion. Visions included spirals up and down through multiple experiences and lessons I’ve had to learn more than once.
Weird, but wonderful to drive alone in a car listening over and over to Terri Hendrix, who sings, “Moon on the water, help me to rise.” In so-called “ordinary time” (if we’re lucky) there sometimes comes an unusual confluence of ideas and insights, opportunities and options. Oh, the places I’ll go!
All this has contributed to who I am today, for good or ill. I have gifts as well as blind spots. There have been times of trauma, challenge, conflict, and betrayal. There have been dreams come true, successes, triumphs, and joy. I am reminded of Bruce Findlow’s lyrics in hymn #128, Singing the Living Tradition:
“For all that is our life we sing our thanks and praise; for all life is a gift which we are called to use to build the common good and make our own days glad.”