Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Gifts from the Park

It's 6AM.  I've been awake since 3, and now I'm seated at the kitchen table, a mug of tea steeping, a yogurt open beside me, thinking about the park.  It is hard to imagine leaving this community that has become so central to my weeks, to my rhythm of living, to my sense of neighborhood, to my heart.  Over the weeks, we've sat on the grass talking about packing up my house, and my friends have asked about the boxes, the progress, how much stuff there is to go.  They have all packed up houses before and commiserate with the size of the job, though now they live with only two, three, four bags of stuff -- maybe a guitar, too, maybe some books stashed at a friend's house or some art supplies somewhere, but that's it.  It's a grounding perspective.  These friends with their lives on their backs are the ones who have showered me with gifts these past months, showered Eden and Silas and Ben.  I realize I never would have grown as I have without their friendships, the challenges of their past wounds, the challenges of experiencing homelessness with no clear roads out, the challenges of the addictions some of them wear so plainly, their kindness toward me over and over; I would not have experienced God's tenderness so deeply in my life without them.  As I've sifted through drawers and shelves, I've found gifts and remembered others that I've received at the park -- so much to learn about generosity.

for me:
-a white angora sweater
-markers and pens for my art supplies
-a green wooden cross
-a shimmery shirt
-special stones
-a cook out with burgers for all
-a yellow dress
-an angel food cake
-St. Patrick's day decorations taped on the concrete walls for my going away
-purple ugg-like boots
-photos on facebook
-tea bags
-lengthy letters
-coffee cake
-help cracking & beating dozens of eggs
-song lyrics
-remixed music
-heads of cauliflower
-guitar playing
-small paintings
-a beaded necklace

for Silas and Eden:
-purple sparkly nail polish
-numerous sprinklings of "fairy dust"
-a Hurley t-shirt (that Ben wears...)
-a green bouncy ball
-a plastic shell-shaped pocket book
-sequined gypsy dress
-t-shirts, pants, shorts, leggings
-a huge oatmeal cookie for Eden so I didn't have to leave to feed her
-pushes on the swing
on and on...

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