Today is Good Friday, the day no bread can be consecrated. My mind is full of past Good Fridays--the day that our church's labyrinth was vandalized, and I spent Good Friday helping to clean up and lay new roof tiles along the outline. I think of the times that we got the grounds spruced up for Easter. Last year we were on a plane to Hawaii, flying backwards across Good Friday.
Today I will do my final preparation for travel--by this time tomorrow, I plan to have been on the road for several hours so that I can get to my grad school friend's tea party. She puts together the most wonderful teas. I will spend Saturday with her, Sunday with a different grad school friend, and then on Monday it's off to Mepkin Abbey after having lunch with yet a different set of friends.
Once I did more of these travels--I would go to my grandmother's house and in between outings with her, I'd make it around the state to see old friends. I miss it, although if I'm honest, the thought of this amount of driving exhausts me these days.
Today I will also have a group of church friends over. We'll have lunch by the pool, and then there will be a ukulele and violin rehearsal for Good Friday tonight.
My spouse still has to teach his late afternoon class, and it's on a campus near the church, so I'll meet up with him there. By then, I hope to be packed, and I hope to have all my grading done. No, I will have my grading done.
I like the idea of this drive in that it will give me time to transition, time to look forward to this time before me. I've spent so much of the last week in speeded-up time as I've tried to get ready to be away from the office for a week.
In so many ways, this retreat at Mepkin Abbey with Kathleen Norris is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. But lately, I've realized that the same is true with most of my travel. I think that I will always be able to do a certain kind of travel, but then my job changes or someone dies or people move or the expense of the trip becomes too hard to justify. Fifteen years ago I could get tickets to Europe for $500 or so. That's not the case anymore. I could list lots of examples, but that would depress me.
No, let's focus on the possibilities. I'm not jetting off to Europe, but I am getting to spend a precious week studying with one of my favorite authors and reconnecting with my Create in Me friends. And then, I come home to a circle of friends, to several circles, who help me remember why I'm glad to live here.
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