Thursday, February 2, 2012


Dawn, morning, noon, afternoon, dusk, evening, night--over and over again.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner, late night snack. Over and again.

We live within patterns.

I was sitting in the front seat of my son's car with Emma and Morgan, my granddaughters, in the back seat, secure in child seats, while Josh went into Starbucks for an iced-tea on our way to church at the Cathedral of the Incarnation Baltimore last Sunday morning.

We were looking at a strip mall--a very Yuppie strip mall--and I reminded the girls that we had all been at the Italian restaurant just in front of us.

"Remember," I said, "when we were there Tegan" (the 5 year old twins 2 year old sister)"got so upset that the adults had to take turns being outside with her. Remember that?"

Emma said, "So Mommy and Daddy and you and Grandma kept coming out to be with Tegan?"

"Yes," I said, "just like that."

"That was a 'pattern'," she said.

I was astonished that she's said that. "So, what's a 'pattern', Emma?"

"It's when something happens the same way over and over," she told me.

Just then Morgan said, "Did Daddy bring a snack for church?" The Cathedral is very wonderful about children--they eat, color, read, play video games on their parents' smart phones and eat snacks after they come back from Sunday School at the Peace and nobody minds.

"Daddy always forgets to bring the snack," Morgan said.

"He remembered this time," I said, because the snack bag was between my feet.

"So," I said to Emma, "Daddy broke the pattern."

She thought for a moment. "Yes, he did," she said.

Patterns are how we live...the better to break them, I'd say.

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.