Packing a house lived in for thirteen and a half years turns out to be a daunting task. Up to our necks in boxes, having released about half the accumulated clothing, supplies, and maybe-we’ll-need-it-sometime random items, we still have A LOT to pack. Boxes lovingly filled with breakable treasures as well as daily items for eating, grooming, and such. An abundance.
From the outside, boxes sealed and stacked are indistinguishable. Where we forgot to label contents, the insides hold mysteries. Boxes containing wanted belongings will travel 823.3 miles, to be opened as surprises, recognition dawning with each unraveling of packing paper. Everything wanted, everything treasured, everything needing a fresh review and particular placement in an unfamiliar environment. Each item evaluated for present-time usefulness.
7,230,600 minutes, how do you measure thirteen and a half years in a life? As the lyrics go (from the Broadway hit “Rent”), “measure in love.” The love of Unity of SA children captured in fabric-painted handprints on a quilt presented to me on my tenth anniversary. Little green frog images next to first names of kids on a ceramic platter, given so many years ago that those little kids are now college students. Love and thanks notes galore stuffed in decorative boxes in every room, now packed deep in sealed boxes.The Christmas cactus that breaks out in delicate red blooms twice each year on the windowsill. Everywhere I turn I find reminders of a beautiful community I was privileged to serve for a long while.
Fast forwarding in my mind, I imagine looking back in another thirteen and a half years, when I hope to have retired. Having placed “the San Antonio experience” onto my life’s timeline, I imagine it will live in my memory as a peak experience, an unrepeatable era, my one “church” ministry within which I grew in a consciousness of spiritual celebration, study, and service; where I learned how to love abundantly in an expanding sense of Oneness. As I recall the faces in an overflowing sanctuary named Unity of SA, I imagine I will feel fulfilled, for in your company I have become a better minister, a more generous giver, a more audacious speaker of Truth, and a greater divine human. You, beloved community, are in the wrappings, tucked in boxes, the surprise contents traveling with me all 823.3 miles.
Always, you will be my treasures. Always, I will cherish you. Rev. Linda