Jill and I went over the story once. She was thrilled I had memorised my parts and brought pebbles for props. She thanked me endlessly for doing this for her and told me I was perfect. Ann then admitted that she had been the one to read the story and say, "This is Kiwi! This is Kiwi's story! Try to get her!" So thanks Ann, smiles.
We did the traditional round that I love. "The wheel of the water goes round and round, and the wheel of the water goes round." "Water flows down, down, trickle trickle down, down to the ocean, trickle trickle down." "See the vapours rise, see them cloud the skies." "Clouds rain down, thunder and lightning sound (clap)." "Springs bubble, bubble up, springs bubble, bubble up." I sang the storm part since I was back and centre where I always stand.
We read "The Winds of Summer" opening words, which normally I would put up but my hymn book is in England. I loved the description of bringing everyone back in for community from our drifting summer times. We then sang "Gather the Spirit," which is one of my personal favourites. I have a set of them that I enjoy for not mentioning any deity, just universal forces or occurrences of nature--this one fits that, just about a group coming together to share and be together through all sorts of circumstances.
Then unison affirmation, which I enjoyed: "We pledge to walk together in the ways of truth and affection as best we know them now or may learn them in the days to come, that we and our children may be fulfilled and that we may speak to the world in words and actions of peace and goodwill." It comforts me. I don't always read it out loud when I'm not feeling so pacifistic and affectionate and truthful, but usually I do.
Sara R. lit the chalice and I groaned. She's such a spoiled little child, and normally I like children these days. I think my thoughts may have ended up karmic or at least foreboding.
When it was time to gather the water, Mum came running over with a cheap gallon container of water with a bit in it. I just smiled. We did it by direction (East, South, West, North) again because we're so large and can no longer have each family say where the water is from (symbolically or no, given families like mine traditionally forget to bring water). I went up for West, a time for ending and finishing--it seemed to sum up our summer with my family's job situations, my brother going into his senior year and my finishing my first year out. Each time someone walked by me (I always stand in the back by my favourite tree trunk), I got a hug and some words. It was lovely.
We sang "Return Again" from the supplement book (which I really need to get) and I have always loved that song about coming home. It made me cry. I went up for candles of Joy and Concern to say that this summer reminded me of the value of family and coming home for a home base once in a while, and that it was inspired by Return Again. Ann's pastoral prayer was fine but I didn't pay much attention, more zoned out. Same through the music response. Come offertory I was joking with Penny about being nervous and he was putting pebbles on my head.
I went up to join Jill for the message for all ages/children's story. I messed up one line but delivered it to have the same message. She ended up thinking one of her lines was mine, but I gave her a gentle look with a smile and put my hand on her arm so she read it and I responded. It was received well and Sara R. knocked knuckles with me to show off to her friend that she knew me. Penny and I chuckled. Another of the young Youths told me she loved my outfits.
We sang "Blue Boat Home," which I always adore. I love the line "kindred pilgrim souls," as I believe it is. I'm not huge on the concept of souls, but I can't be SUPER picky about all these older songs. I love the message of "Blue Boat Home." I got teary again thinking of heading off on another journey on my blue boat to a place that is equally home, with my kindred pilgrim souls.
Penny and I began taking the wands out of the bubbles since we'd been asked to help out. I had to get his out too. I'm ashamed to say I got soap on the rug. During Carol's introduction a bird flew into the window and we all went "ooohhh!" sadly and looked to the window. She turned around confused and someone explained. She said, "I was wondering, since that was such a strange response! Just a bird? Jack, what kind?" because Jack B. knows all the birds. We teased her for saying "just a bird," and then a hummingbird hovered in front of the window as she continued speaking. Other birds flew about. I love the new congregation and how easily we can see out to nature as anyone speaks. Penny and I followed Ann around blowing bubbles as people were thanked for volunteer time.
We then couldn't sing "May Nothing Evil Cross this Door" which may not be one of my favourites anyway. We were too sticky and soapy. We also couldn't greet our neighbours or hold hands during the closing circle. ("Carry the flame of peace and love until we meet again.") We just smiled and linked elbows, then hurried off to wash our hands.
After service I was greeted often. Avoided Lisa and Sharon. Was told I looked great by a bunch of people, which made me smile. Diane's was my favourite. She said, "I looked at you standing in the back and felt so happy. I remember your years of crutches and canes. To see you standing up in the back, looking so beautiful..." We hugged and she headed off. Spoke with the B family, my adopted family. Told them I was headed to Smith to see Gar. Chatted with everyone.
Sarah then came alone and told me she loved my outfit and bracelets. She pointed at my wrist and with a huge attitude said, "Can I have some? Do that fold for me." I looked down at my wrist and sighed--I have so few, and I often give things away to people who impress me or those I connect with--and started pulling at the red one. "How about red and--" "Give me a yellow and a green and can you fold it like that?" she started looking up and chatting with her little friend. Sonja (Spanish teacher I had coffee with the other day) was watching and shaking her head. I took two of my favourite bracelets off and murmured, "Present your delicate wrist, miss," which she did without looking. I slipped it on and she ran away throwing "thanks" over her shoulder. I looked up and mentioned that there were a number of reasons that I wasn't fond of the R- family--namely two: the daughter and the mother. I told Sonja it was a blessing and a curse to be the poster "cool" girl of the senior youth even beyond high school. Many compliments, too much attention from some I would prefer no notice from.
Sarah came around again. She told me she loved the bracelets on my other hand (my special brown and pink ones) and asked me where I got them. I told her they were special. She asked (if it can be called that) for more bracelets for her friend Maci. I told her that my bracelets were special from a friend, but if I got any more I would bring them back next time. She ran off. I ran to my mother and informed her that I had once again been bullied by an under-10-year-old. Emile laughed with me and we ranted a bit until Elizabeth (Sarah's mother) came into the room bragging about how her daughter won Best Actress in some (Boring) Competition, but that "it wasn't really a competition." My mother said, "Oh, no, I wouldn't think it would be--congrats!" and thank goodness Elizabeth missed the dry tone, as usual. Elizabeth walked out praising her daughter's name. I gagged. Chatted some more and headed off.
I wanted to get that all down because I love the first meetings with congregtation friends again.
Anyway, then it as off to my grandparents. I had a wonderful chat on the phone with Molly and we discussed my being broken and her being back from camp and other such interesting factors of our lives. Got to my grandparents, gave them flowers, we drank wine and (Mum) chatted. It was fun. We ate and the food was lovely. We all joked. I love Grampa's sense of humour. It's fantastic. There was a dog out in the green playing fetch with her human so I went out and played with her (Bella). Learned how to throw with a fling-stick-thing and she was a dashing dog. Came back up for dessert. They gave me a card with $200 in it (!!!) for spending money and then a "I'm not short I'm fun sized" shirt, which I adore and am wearing today.
Downstairs we saw old films on the projector-film-thing (no sound, etc.) from 1963 and on with Mum as a baby and growing up, parades, the (mainly three) siblings with some Guy. I loved seeing it all. So beautiful to see a film without sound, so much imagination, no music covering over every second.
We were all tired so we said goodbye and headed home. I think I'll put the rest in another post, back to my normal length/speaking manner, methinks.