Friday, February 25, 2011

The High School Years

Over at Jeff Harre's blog, I'm Fluting as fast as I Can, I posted a comment on his note about going to the library. In that comment I mentioned the Zwaanendael museum. Here's a link to a picture of the museum.

We moved to Lewes, Delaware when I was fourteen, in 1959. Schools were still segregated. So was the town. When I got a job in the local news shop as a soda jerk I was told that (racial expletive deleted) were to come to the side of the counter and get their sodas to go. If one of "them" sat at the counter, I was to give them their soda in a take-out cup. "They'll get the message." My family lived one block away from the black ghetto where "they" all lived. We kids were not allowed to play with "their" children once we came of school age.

In my senior year, Gloria transferred from the black high school to my high school. It was 1962. She graduated with us in 1963. Lewes was officially integrated - by one young woman - with no fanfare and no violence. The violence was left for a town just north of us, to which anti-integration agitators were bussed in.

In the midst of it all, in Lewes, there stood this strange, beautiful building from another time, long ago, reminding us of when strangers from a strange land came to the shores of Delaware Bay and founded a settlement - The Valley of the Swans, Zwaanendael. Reminding us that none of us is native to this soil and that not one of us has a leg to stand on when we declare some not to be as human as we, or others have no legal right to be here. We were all, at one time, strangers in this strange land, and we ripped others out of their native soil to be slaves in this land, and we have treated each wave of immigrants to these shores as though they were the enemy, and as though we ourselves were never immigrants.

Such a beautiful name, Zwaanendael, Valley of the Swans. A beautiful name for a truly, still, beautiful place, on the shores of Delaware Bay. Founded by immigrants who had no right to these shores, but who came here anyway, and settled, and disappeared, to be replaced by other immigrants who also had no right to these shores, but who came here anyway, and now, here we are.

I could wish we were more open, more welcoming, more truly free. I could wish we believed that the words of the Declaration of Independence pertained to all people who come to this land: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Not some men, and women and children, but all.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Earthquake in New Zealand

By now you know there has been a disastrous earthquake in New Zealand. The Anglican cathedral in Christchurch has suffered severe damage and there have been deaths though no one yet knows the true extend of the toll on human life.

Please go to this link to Episcopal Cafe for information and a request for prayer from all of us in the Anglican Communion. Please do pray for the people of New Zealand.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Spring? Not!

Woke up to an inch of snow and another two during the ensuing 3 hours. Oh well - good thing I love snow! But not half as much as Miss Xena, Warrior Lab-mix Princess of all Norwalk! Her game: come to the back door to be let in after playing with snow for half an hour, when I open the door, run full speed back into the snow, wait for the door to bang shut, run to the door, wait for me, run full speed - well, you get the picture. "Let's try and get mom to play in the snow with us!"

Sunday, February 20, 2011

By the Bye...

The First Formula 1 Race, which was to run in Bahrain - well, you can guess - It will likely be cancelled because of the unrest in the country. I will be wearing my red driving shoes three Sundays from now anyway.

Next race, The Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne: March 25, 26, 27.


I'm doing much better since yesterday's post. Two things - Sunday's worship, the coffee hour/vestry lunch, the Vestry meeting, and post-meeting conversation were great.

And this afternoon I see the snow has melted off the container gardens in which I had my herb garden, and lo, the flat leaf parsley from last season is green, and the pansies are growing. It's a miracle! It also looks like the lavender in those tubs made it through, and I'm not sure about the rosemary, but the leaves are supple - I think they made it too! Unheard of here in Connecticut.

There's a third thing: the prayers from the international community and from here made themselves felt. What could have gone on for days has evaporated. Give thanks to God, for God is good. God's mercy endures forever. And so does prayer...

...and spring-iness...

...and a good Sunday all around.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh bloody ****, it's February

I was just watching an episode of "House" when I looked up and caught a glimpse of a certain kind of chair and I said to Newlin, "That's an infusion unit". Then they panned back and there it was, the infusion unit. And I felt sick and I couldn't stand to look at it and I wondered why. And suddenly I knew: It's bloody February. The beginning of the whole bloody year. 2007. I had never given it a thought. I even go to the infusion unit twice a year for my Zometa IV. And yesterday I got the reminder for which I've been waiting to return to Norwalk Radiology for my annual post-cancer mammogram. Nothing. In fact I was glad to get the reminder.

But now, here in February, my body remembers the hell of that year. And I just want to curl up in a ball and go away for awhile.

Tomorrow I preach on "turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give to everyone who asks, love your enemy". One of these days I'm going to do a reflection on this reading from Matthew, chapter 5:38-48, from the point of view of the enemy, cancer.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Standing on the Side of Love

Tomorrow, Monday, February 14 is St. Valentine's Day. It is also National Standing on the Side of Love Day, whose webpage you can access by clicking on the highlighted link.

Please use this blog comment function to post your story of people you know who exemplify an unshakeable faith in the power of justice and love, someone who has made the world a better place.

Happy Valentine's/Standing on the Side of Love Day!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Only a month until Formula 1 racing resumes!

The 2011 Formula 1 McLaren has been unveiled. You can find it here, and see the video (assuming the link works).

The first race of the season: Bahrain, March 11,12,13.
34 day, 5 hours, 22 minutes from now and counting!

Blame la niña!

Good grief. Another storm coming tomorrow. "Wintry mix." And again next Tuesday. Same thing. Miss Xena is no longer romping madly through the snow. She can't. It's coated with a layer of ice. She goes out and licks it. It's painful to watch her walking on top of a drift and suddenly have one leg break through the ice.

But she won't give up. She loves the outdoors. She's making the best of things - she loves to play with ice, so she sheers off a bit of the ice layer and carries it about. The only drawback, in her point of view, is that doing wind sprints around the yard and back and forth to and from the porch door and the back of the yard is not on until there's a thaw, at least of the icy part!

Ten degrees F this morning at 6:30. Right cold for a human. Means nothing to Miss Xena, Warrior Labrador-Mix Princess of all Norwalk.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh Snow....

I love snow. It's beautiful. It's silent and soft.

It's enough.

I never thought I'd say that. I've had enough. There's so much of it on the ground already it'll still be there in April. It's beautiful, and it's making getting around a nightmare. Today it cancelled a conference I was looking forward to attending.

I'm relieved to not have to travel in dangerous weather. But I'm missing my clergy friends and I could use the rest. Can't have it both ways, I guess.

So instead I'll take the next few days as study days. Actually, that'll take more discipline than almost anything else I do!