Intervisitation, scheduled and unscheduled
The four of us went, and Silas probably wins the prize for youngest person there, but ours weren't the only kids. There were, as might be expected at a Quaker gathering, a lot of grey heads. But also some of the younger adult Friends I know from around the Bay Area. And some young folks I didn't know, so that's good too.
Will this be one of the moments, will people ask twenty years from now, "Where were you when you found out Tom Fox was kidnapped? When Tom Fox was killed? Were you there at the funeral? What have you done since then?" I don't know, and it probably doesn't matter. It felt good to be among Friends this evening. I'm glad we were there, to bear witness, to be counted among those who care, those who will remember.
But there is another story for us today. This morning after meeting for worship in San Francisco, we were still trying to sort out whether we could really all go to the memorial meeting. We were chatting with the friend of a new attender/old friend of mine. Chris asked the friend, who lives in Berkeley, if he knew of a park near the Berkeley BART station (which is right next to BFC). The man told us of a park that is just a few blocks away, within walking distance. Great. We loaded up the wagon, headed across the bridge, found the park with only a minor scenic detour.
As we are walking across the field towards the playground, Chris says, "Hey! I see someone I know. There's Max. And Allen. And Joe. And Rafe!" Wow. These are Friends of ours from Quarterly and Yearly Meeting who live in Berkeley, Max and Allen being in the same age group as Henry and Silas. What a coincidence. It turns out this is the playground closest to their house, but they haven't been there in ages because the weather has been so yucky.
So the boys are playing: swinging, chasing bubbles, climbing on the structure. The grownups are chatting, about PYM children's program, about our history with Friends, what brings us to Berkeley on such a fine day, how long it's been since we've had such a fine day. And I ask them where's a good place to get dinner around here, with kids, before the memorial service. And we discuss various ethnic options, relative distances, whether Indian and fancy are mutually exclusive when it comes to restaurants. I asked if they would like to join us for dinner, even though we're going at 4:00, which is not usually anybody's dinner time, but Rafe has other plans and Joe has to check with Heather, who's not home right now. But then Max and Allen are ready to go home, and I think Allen invited us all to his house. We stutter for a while, not wanting to impose, not sure whether Joe knew that Allen was inviting us to their house, but finally we all go back to their house so the boys can play for a while longer.
By the time we got to the house, it has been decided, I'm still not sure how, that Rafe would cook dinner at Joe's house for all of us, including Rafe's houseguests. So we got to stay even longer. It was even more funny when Heather got home, and her first thought upon seeing us on her couch was that she had forgotten a committee meeting with Chris or I and we had come to pick her up. And dinner was Delicious. Jamaican roti and a curried potato and carrot stew and green salad. On the spur of the moment, delightful hospitality. A chance to visit Friends at home, who we have known for maybe six years, but never seen each other outside of Quaker gatherings.
This made it feel like Way Opened for us to go to the memorial - our boys had a really good time and were ready to sit quietly in meeting for an hour. Well, Silas fell asleep in my lap after about ten minutes, but it worked out fine. Many blessings all round.
Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]