I've been going to church for the last few weeks as a conciliation to my wife. Church is very important to her, less so for me.
That sounds callous, but my church is ...everywhere...which is not to say that I don't get great food for thought at our Unitarian Universalist church.
The hardest thing for her to understand is that I need time, true alone time, to recharge. As a full time stay at home mom, homeschooler, earth-mom type, I am on call all day. Mind, I am far from perfect, but I am a good mom. I am a good teacher. I am a good wife.
But I also need some me time. My diet coach helps me get that when I get something in my inbox that says "have you walked today?" Walking helps me calm down, slim down, and take notice of the wider, natural world around me.
Still, I find I need more than the 3-4 days a week a get a 30 minute walk. One of these Sunday's they will head off to church without me and I will rake leaves, or paint my kitchen woodwork or ...something. I'll do it in silence, a rare commodity for me. For several hours there will be no one asking me a thing, no one I need to speak to, just letting me charge up and breathe.
I so crave that.
And, despite a deep-seated pessimism, I am working hard, so hard, to embrace my pagan beliefs fully, to find the blessings that are hidden in plain sight, if we but take a moment to see them. Things like the brilliant iridescent green on a mallards neck that I spy as I drive past a small pond; the glimmer of a bold yellow leaf before it falls, the absolute purity of a white, fluffy cloud drifting silently overhead.
Sometimes the blessings come from people I speak to, or things that I read, or even something I overhear.
Today I found my hidden blessing in church. Heh. Who knew?
"You need not think alike to love alike."
That was Francis David, a Unitarian "martyr" (one of a very few U/U martyrs) just about five hundred years ago in Transylvania (google him, he was pretty neat...) .
Five Hundred Years. And a message as fresh today as ever it was then.
Thank You, Francis David.