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Dancing Rabbits and Flying Souls

June 12, 2009
view from the parsonage at FFC

view from the parsonage at FFC

This old article from the Onion finally caught my attention this week. Built on the old “One thing that everyone gets to try” joke, but with a more “official” tone.

I’ve had several “end of life” conversations this week, and I spent some time planning a funeral service for tomorrow morning here in Franklin. I preached Sunday about the futility of the killing of Dr. Tiller and the life and death tone that political debates have taken. It’s been a week of looking ahead to the one thing everyone gets to try, and that usually makes for a reflective rest of the month.

It’s especially poignant when you are getting a new ministry going and over-scheduling your days while keeping up with all the usual stuff you keep up with on the personal side. I think it’s part of the reason that Mireille and I finally got into community supported agriculture this week. It was with an outfit in Cumberland, RI called Rabbits Dance Farm. Kristin is incredibly friendly and made our first stop in this week a real treat. We also learned that they are doing pick-your-own peas next week, so the kids will even get some hands on. We stood on the landing, the two older kids and I, and stepped out after filling bags with kale, radishes, arugula, sage, thyme and garlic. There was a white dog lying in a spot of dirt, and the wild open fields behind the house looked like a sprawling symphony of twirling grasses and anonymous plants. The place just reeks of fecundity and life.

I took one of the small smooth hands in my own and felt a little embarrassed at the lack of dirt under my own fingernails. Here I am trying to help folks through their own deaths and the deaths of their loved ones and I’m only minimally involved in the life that teems around me.  Heavy on yang and not enough yin, or vice-versa.

Regardless, I’m grateful for the opportunity to “dig in” a little. I agree with those who say that a good death is only possible when it follows a good life. I’m not writing a “get out from behind the computer” post here, especially not sitting behind a computer. But I am seeing many more folks saying no to opportunity than yes right now, whether it is a function of the economy or just general worry about it and other things. My friend Chris Holdridge once said to me, “I’ve learned this in life; whenever someone asks you if you want to go along, even if it’s just down to the store for milk, you should say yes. You never know. It could change your life.” I don’t know if he remembers saying that, but he was right, and it has stuck with me, especially when I’m thinking about what I choose and how it allows me to say yes more than no.

That’s comforting to me this week. It may be comforting to you as well, depending on where you’re at. Selah.


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