1. In her book on Shakespeare's sonnets, Helen Vendler writes about how the poems (and poetry itself) give structure to our emotions. Episcopalian liturgy works the same. I hadn't been to a morning liturgy since June. This morning I worshiped at the Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross in Dunn Loring, VA. I've missed the liturgy, ached for it, and the liturgy itself gave structure to my feelings. My longings were satisfied, my loneliness assuaged. I had that deep Episcopalian experience of knowing that while I worshiped at 11:00, Harold and Hal and Lindsey and Bingham and other members of St. Mary's in Eugene were worshiping the same liturgy, hearing the same scriptures, and taking the same communion at the 8:00 service in Eugene and I felt deeply connected to what is still my church home.
2. As many of you who read this blog know, the interim rector at Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross is Betsy Tesi who was one of our priests at St. Mary's until she accepted a call to Holy Cross about a year ago. It moved me to see Betsy again. She wasn't the preacher this morning, but I loved that she did everything else: led us in the Nicene Creed, the confession, the peace and that I once again took the communion that she made sacred. We embraced at the peace and again after the service. We had a good conversation after church. So much that has been difficult for me over the last couple of months was lifted. I felt at home.
3. That feeling of having a home again grew when I returned to our apartment and Molly and Olivia and David were settled in, the kids playing, Molly and the Deke shooting the breeze, but even more important, to me, the Deke talked to our across the hall neighbor about the corgis barking and he's not bothered. He says he hears them, but it's not a big deal. This relieved me of about 16 tons of anxiety. Later, I bought a gate for the rearmost bedroom and a radio and my hope is that by containing them in one room and turning the radio on to block noises that rile up Maggie, that I'll feel increasingly at liberty to leave the dogs alone in the apartment. So far, I haven't felt that way.