Thursday, August 15, 2013

Friends at a Former Home

Backtracking from yesterday....

Some light chores around the house during the day: cleaning the bathrooms and showers on my floor, cleaning the exterior of the basement-level windows, weeding the landscaping on the front property of San Lorenzo Friary.

In the evening, I visited Beacon Hill Friends House, my home for two years, for a presentation by an alumna of the house, now a Unitarian Universalist minister in Bedford, on children's books and their role in bereavement and healing. I had a few motivations for attending. First, as an uncle with a young nephew and younger niece, I would like to explore how to talk simply and humanly about death and dying with them as they grow up. Second, I admire the genius of the authors and illustrators of children's literature. It takes an uncommon creativity to communicate with love and with truth to our youngest persons. (Once, for a final exam, a theology professor of my acquaintance assigned her students to write a sermon for a six-year-old. Would that I had been in that class! I envied those students.) Third, with the deaths of six Capuchin friars, three recently, I desire to grieve and mourn well.

Finally and hope-fully, I returned to Beacon Hill Friends House in anticipation of reunions, both expected and unexpected. I did see a friend I expected to see, and I was delighted to encounter other former housemates. It was good to be back in the old parlor with my Quaker sisters and brothers. The event last night reminded me of the charm of this intentional community and of the good moments over the two years I lived at the Quaker meeting-house.

Those years were also challenging times for me personally. Now, I have been living in a religious community for two years and concentrating primarily on "domestic discipleship," being "Church at home," practicing hospitality with my brothers. It's hard work! I can better appreciate how special the intentional community at Beacon Hill Friends House is ... and how much effort it takes to create and sustain a household of light, joy, and peace. I realize now what I took for granted then.

Today, to continue the weeding for a little while this morning and afternoon. Then, to the walking tour of downtown Boston, an activity we postponed from Tuesday because of inclement weather.

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