8 Places I love to be
(Not in order, and certainly not the only places I love- just the ones I have on my heart tonight.)
My front porch- It's the center of my universe. When Shawn and I were looking for a neighborhood to plant our lives in, one of the things we were looking for was an urban neighborhood where people still sat on their porches in the evening. Sometimes folks gravitate to our porch, sometimes we all sit on our own porches and talk back and forth. One of my favorite photos is one that Cindy BK took one night after the community had eaten dinner. Donna and I are on the porch talking on one side, Chiayim and Jordan on the other. Sara is sitting on the steps, and Kendra and Shameka were chasing Lydia and Amos in the front yard. A snapshot of my happiness.
My mother's house- I love to be there. Although it is not the house I grew up in, it is a house where I am always my mother's child.
Lucille Grant Park- I dreamed of this scrappy little neighborhood park long before it came to be. That little patch of land once had a little house on it, which Shawn tore down- a job that took him months but that he took a lot of pride in finishing. The park itself is a great example of a colabrotive effort between the neighborhood and New Directions Housing and a group of Presbyterian youth groups. The first summer I went over and sat on the bench there every night, just so so happy that it had finally happened.
Dave and Cindy's front room- Once dubbed the "dance hall" room because it is big enough to contra dance in, it is also now big enough to house a lot of fun kid stuff and a huge welcoming table where the community group has shared so many wonderful meals and great stories. And the community garden just outside the window!
Camp Kavanaugh- My foundation at Kavanaugh is years of summer camp meetings there in the big open air tabernacle. For the past ten years, it has been the home of our church fall retreat- an event the kids and I look forward to all year long. I have always loved it because even when the kids were little, they could hop out and run with their friends and as long as they showed up for meals and bedtime, you knew they were safe and having adventures. My favorite thing to do at fall retreat is to get there first, then lay on my bed in my room with a window open and listen to all of the other folks arrive. I love hearing their cars crunch down the driveway and hear their voices as they unpack and settle in, and my heart welcomes each one.
My sister's house- Any of her houses. Because where her house is, is where she is.
My Aunt Elaine's house- Nothing but the best of memories, no matter where her house has been. Always a pantry full of all the ingredients for her to whip up something wonderful. Full hot breakfast in the morning while listening to Barnie Arnold give the farm report. Mamaw whispering the words as she read her Bible. Playing with Tom Dooley. Staying up all night watching The Crusade for Children. Christmas Day. Oh, the best Christmas Days. No place better than Aunt Elaine's!
The Bodega- I have always wanted a neighborhood "place" and Bodega has just become that for me. So warm and cozy on a winter's Saturday. An arm chair so comfortable that I call it The Lap of God. In the summer, the Farmers Market outside and cold Havanna Mojito inside. Wonderful easy folks who work there and who make you feel glad to be there. Lots of productive meetings there, and lots of good times with friends too.
( How neat to look back at these and see that half of them are right here in my sweet neighborhod!)