I’m in snowy Indiana at the Indianapolis airport waiting for two friends’ delayed planes to arrive. Truth be told, in the midst of a very busy Advent, Christmas, and now Epiphany, it is good to have time for my body, soul, and spirit to catch up to one another.
I knit. I listen to Carrie Newcomer’s wonderful music. I think. I ponder.
I spent last week mainly in bed with a winter cold. Trying to stay away from folks in order to not share the gift, it was as good a place as any for me finally to complete my 2016 (I know, very delayed) taxes and submit the paperwork and documentation for the insurance claim for my personal belongings lost in the 2017 Harvey Flood. Drinking hot tea laced with lemon picked from a friend’s tree and eating soup made by another friend, I relived the Tax Day Flood (2016) and Harvey Floods (2017). No wonder I was abed!
Yet there was joy, too. With the sad and painful memories there was much care and love to recall, too. Having put off facing the pain of the two floods, I had also missed experiencing healing, compassion, and so many gifts.
I had not looked forward to this new year. This time last year I had hoped (as most of us had) that 2017 would be a better year. On first glance, it felt like another hard year. Who wants to do that again?
Although it all too often didn’t feel like it, in this wait in Indianapolis, I see how much 2017 was indeed a better year. Having flooded twice, moving and giving away and throwing away again and again, I find myself with a freedom I’ve never had in my life.
I’ve never been more certain who I am and what is most important to me.
Each relationship I have is a treasure. Each thing I own is valued.
I’ve never loved being rector of St. Mary’s more than I do today–I have a playfulness and joyfulness and creativity that I’ve never had. There is a depth to everything I see and do that would never have happened without 2016 and 2017.
This month I will celebrate twenty-five years of being a priest. And I feel like I’m only now discovering what that truly means.
It is not ordinary time.