Capturing stories— thru writing, photography, video or audio–creates a precious account of who we are and what we have experienced. My first journal, a red diary with a gold lock and key, was a gift for my eleventh birthday. I hid it under my pillow and wrote with a thick pencil when my sisters weren’t looking “Phil chased me into the bathroom at the skating rink. I told him to leave me alone. Steve held my hand during the moonlight skate. When we get married his Dad will build us a house.” Reading those words brings back the sound of wheels on the oval wooden rink, the mirrored rotating light in the center of the ceiling, Chubby Checker begging us to do the Twist…….all adding up to first love.
My upcoming book, Meet Me Under the Sun, is a collection of stories that shaped me, guided me, challenged me, haunted me.
From my journal, as I considered a trip to a refugee camp in Ghana:
November 24, 2002
Webster church’s kitchen is filled with aromas of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It is the annual community out reach event that is always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, always at 4pm, and always with homemade gravy.
Volunteers turn steamy pots into mounds of buttery potatoes and sweetened squash. Pies are carefully dissected and pieces are gently placed on saucers. Hands that have tackled the job many times in the past carve fragrant, roasted turkeys. Someone remarks that the scene is a lot like a family dinner, minus the tension of living together and the kitchen erupts with laughter.
The delegation to Ghana is discussed as they are traveling home today. There is concern for them and an eagerness to hear their stories. A prayer is offered for their safe return. As I try to imagine Ghana and what they might have experienced I feel a strong pull to see myself as part of the next delegation.
I know in that moment I will go to Ghana.
There is peace in that decision, for reasons I don’t fully understand. Webster Church has become an integral part of my life, as a spiritual community that is accepting and devoted to serve others with God as the focus. I feel blessed and honored to be connected with this group. I am learning from the spirit and the work of others. I am inspired knowing that Webster reaches out to each other, the community and to the world. And I realize the reliability of things like this annual dinner is a comfort to me. Always the Sunday before Thanksgiving, always at 4pm, always with homemade gravy.