May 27, 2019.
Major transitions remind me that we humans are irregular time travelers. We move through time with experience and memories accumulating in a fascinatingly unique manner, like a decorator crab adding random objects to its shell. No two journeys are alike. Significant or intense events are enshrined in the heart and mind, and too many names and specifics may be only vaguely recorded. You will notice this if you talk to any two people who shared the same experience; they often argue endlessly on the date, food eaten, people present and so on. It is as though they hold different pasts. We all do, although our memories and experiences crisscross through time.
With our unique histories, we each move into our own future. When we encounter new events or people that resonate with our past experience, especially emotionally intense experiences, we are launched into our past – reliving the feelings, memories and dreams buried even in our distant history. Moving into the future we continually weave in the past in unique loops, again crossing paths with all those we journeyed with before.
As you may imagine, I have been reflecting on transitions lately. I returned from Chicago the weekend before last, where I graduated from seminary and said goodbye to dear faculty and friends. Then on Tuesday, the staff held a parting lunch for Rev. Sarah Caine and me. After I say goodbye to UUCF on Jun. 2, I will not contact this congregation for at least a year. This is the usual rhythm of internships, and it is part of a beautiful process where teaching congregations help launch a new ministry.
Although I will not make contact, I will always be in contact with our journey together. Every one of you has touched my heart through this part of my formation. Your presence and greeting on Sundays, cheers for my call and my ordination, deep questions in Religious Exploration classes and groups, greetings at coffee hour, your struggles and illnesses, joys and celebrations. You are all part of my ministry now, like the building blocks of the decorator crab’s home. For all the days ahead, I will continue living and growing from our time together.
Humans are irregular time travelers, and this is a blessing even when it is a challenge. Even though we part and forget some details, we continually weave our past into the future. This is how we carry a soul through time. And so, I say goodbye. But our paths will surely cross again, dear ones; I could never move into my future without you. May it be a joy for you to re-encounter our journey, just as it will be for me.
With gratitude, blessings and joy,