Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I was just out on my little 'smoking porch', well, smoking, if you must know. It is just off the sacristy and on West Main Street. It is the only place I allow myself to smoke at St. John's and though I do smoke there it is much less than when I could smoke out other doors.

It snowed last night and this morning and snowed like crazy here between 10:30 and 1:30. Then it started to rain. Welcome to southern New England's late winter....

I saw an Hispanic woman across the street with her two children--a boy and a girl--probably 3 and 5 or so. She took them up to the door of the apartment house, gently brushed the wetness off their hoods and led them inside.

I also saw a young white woman in pigtails, walking with her two children--and older boy, 10 or 11 or so and a little girl of 5. He had on boots but the girl didn't, so this woman, who was so young and vulnerable and thin, picked her up so her feet wouldn't get wet in the inches of slush. She carried her and they moved on.

I went to see my daughter in Brooklyn, NY on Saturday. She and her boyfriend, Tim, who we love, moved into a new apartment on South Elliott Place in Fort Green, a great neighborhood. Their new apartment is wondrous and they are wondrous. This only a few weeks after visiting my son and his family--Cathy, Morgan and Emma the twins and Tegan Hoyt, the baby--in Baltimore.

Both my children are in their 30's and successful in their lives. And when I see them or talk to them on the phone, I am like those two mothers with their little children I saw today in the snow and rain and slush.

I have walked with them through snow and rain and sleet and blistering heat and the wondrous warmth of Spring and early fall. I have held their hands and brushed away the flotsam and jetsam that the weather left on them. I have carried them through the slush and held them near me, feeling their warm and perfect breath on my face.

I know they are wondrous adults and live their own lives without me involved and yet I know them, when I see them, as children in a snow storm, a rain fall, a perfect day that I lifted into my arms and held and hugged and loved and kissed.

Children are like that, I think. They are always young in our hearts. They grow older and wiser and don't need me anymore, but what I know and see when I know and see them is the child they were, that gave meaning to my life, that made me matter, that were the only thing that mattered to me.

And still, that is true. Children get under your skin. That is just the way it is and the way it goes....

So, when I saw what I saw, I remembered who I am and who my children were....And it was wondrous....

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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.