The One Truly Unorganized Church
The Church of Happy Thoughts
A few minutes ago I happened to be at the right place, at the right time, to see the Ecuadorian Feliz Navidad Parade make it's way down 3rd street, at 14th avenue, in NE Minneapolis. The total parade was about a block long, at least 10 people wide, two small magical nativity floats pulled by SUVs, (complete with over- the-top gobs of gold tinsel and beautiful children); there were drums, horns, and cymbals, playing fabulous marching music that I didn't recognize, and almost everyone was carrying either a red or green balloon. It was amazing.
My friend who has lived on this street for many years, missed the parade... it was so short, and she didn't hear me call from the back door. But, she asked me, did I see the donkey? Every year the parade is led by Mary on the Donkey. Nope, didn't see the donkey, I might have been a moment too late for that, but, I can imagine it oh so well.
What immediately came to mind was this: It is important to care about what matters to us, the many millions of times in our lives that we learn what that is, who that is, and why that is.
Last week I got to tell a story at a story-telling venue called the Moth. The topic was Home. While I've not technically had one for a while. my story ended up being how much I've cared about houses, but, how I came to be a gypsy. I know a little bit better now what matters about home to me. My life has taught me, many many houses later, that home is not where we live, but how we live. And so did this parade.
It snowed here last night another 6 inches, or so, (Minnesotans always know exactly how much it has snowed), the street was well traveled but not plowed, and it has been about 20 degrees, or so, today. (Most Minnesotans know exactly how cold it is). (I love that about Minnesotans). There was a young woman in the middle of the parade, carrying a small boy, and wearing her sparkly, strappy 3 inch heels. All I could think was Hallelujah for her, she knows
The Hallelujah chorus live from Radio City Music Hall, the Johann Strauss Orchestra and the Harlem Gospel Choir.
This matters to me. The Hallelujah Chorus. Because, when I get down about the confusion and pain religion has caused, I tend to remind myself, aaaahhh, without it, we wouldn't have the Hallelujah chorus. No matter who we are, where we are, whoever we believe the king, or queen, to be, the music matters. Passion matters. Hallelujah for that.
My family is far far away today, two daughters in NYC, one daughter, a son in law, and beautiful beautiful granddaughter, perfect in every way, in Portland Oregon. And, at this moment, I'm feeling it a little bit.
But, that's not what matters.
I know what matters.
proof. Pots with snow in Minneapolis.
There are many communities here in NE Minneapolis. In fact, one building is home to both the Polish Church and the Ecuadorian Church. There you have it. World Peace.
My last Christmas Tree, a Ficus Tree, 2008 !!
Hallelujah for that