Saturday, April 3, 2010

Church vs. Communion with Nature

We've been working on getting to church more often.  We finally got Barley baptized last summer, and even have people who recognize us and say hello when we show up on Sunday morning.  This will make the Easter potluck less awkward than it was last year.

Teddy is really taking to it.  He will sing, and listen to the stories and sermon attentively, when his brother is not demanding his attention.  Barley is still resisting the whole process, diving into his coloring books instead of paying any attention to what goes on by the altar.  I am hoping for religious awakening by osmosis in his case.

One tradeoff of regular church attendance has been the loss of my Sunday walks with my girlfriend.  These walks were something I looked forward to during the week, and can't happen on Saturdays due to kid activities getting in the way.  Over the last half year, we've been walking less and less often.  We lost one of our regulars when she moved out of state, and my church attendance has further eroded the pool of walkers.

After many months, we managed it last weekend.  We walked up a long park trail, traversing a lovely neighborhood, climbing a huge hill, and coming back down again out the other side of the park.  We have seen horses and dogs aplenty on these walks, and the flora changes from month to month.  We stop and listen to birds in the trees, and bee hives buzzing.  It is a communion with nature, and each other.  My girlfriend and I reconnected on the trivia of day to day life that we have been missing--observations that can't really be shared in the weekly after-school kid exchange.  We have over an hour together to get to core issues that are concerning us.  I have really, really missed that.

Afterward, a special breakfast at her Dad's house, time to chitchat over coffee, fruit, and fried rice (Breakfast fried rice is one of my favorite California inventions!).  Afterward, I stopped by the farmer's market to pick up organic fruit for the week.

I am tired after these walks, sometimes for the rest of the day if I am particularly out of shape.  However, I also have this great sense of happiness and well-being that carries over for several days.  Sunday morning walks give me a dose of sunshine, exercise, friendship, and food that even a welcoming new church has a hard time matching.

With Easter Sunday upon us, it will be at least a couple of weeks before I can do that walk again.  I look forward to the next one, whenever we manage to get it scheduled.

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