Last week we drove 350 miles to Smith College, where our daughter was singing with the glee club at Christmas Vespers. Each year at a pair of services, campus and community enter liminal space by hearing sacred music from student choral and orchestral groups, pondering poetry and biblical readings by students and faculty, and singing carols together.
This year it also became a setting to turn attention to other matters. As a Facebook event page put it, “You can’t sing carols if you can’t breathe.”
When I married at age 41, one of the gifts I received was a hydrangea, the kind that grows someday into a beautiful umbrella of pink blossoms. I delighted in it. Despite our young dog’s scrabbling at its roots, and rude winters freezing it in a bent-over position, it blossomed abundantly.
I try to keep worship to an hour, even on communion Sundays. I keep a side-eye on the clock and move certain things along, because I want to take plenty of time when the congregation comes forward. I look each person in the eye as I give the bread.
But that morning they seemed to barrel toward me two by two.