Blessed new year...

It is a hard and sometimes lonely gig to leave one community and move to a new one - especially doing the church renewal work that seems to be my lot. I remember doing labor organizing with the Mississippi Woodcutters Union oh so long ago and concluding that "I don't want to be an wandering organizer; I need a home base community to work within." And yet... here we are in yet a new place.

So as this year comes to an end, it is clear that all of these changes have caught up with me: sadness, death, missing family and old, old friends to say nothing of the desert sunshine and that wildass Chicago Bar dance crowd. I know I have not been the messenger of joy lately - there seems to be so much to grieve right now - and at the same time, as the scripture says, there is joy and celebration and love and hope. "To everything there is a season..."

Right now we are listening to a young musician live from Tucson via the miracles of the internet and Dianne's computer. She is the loved one of one of our dearest young friends in the southwest - a confirmand and young artist - who is sending text messages while her beloved plays guitar live in a studio. What a weird and wonderful life this is, yes?

So I asked Di to take a picture of us on the last night of 2008. And as I looked at my tired old self with my sweet heart I saw lots of joy and hope - filled with a very real sadness to be sure - but still very real and deep. It made me laugh and realize I am grateful for the whole of life - our move and the new gig with all of the challenges - and I pray blessings for you all as 2009 unfolds. Made me think of this great old tune by the Cowboy Junkies (although I first learned it at a Tom Rush concert.) Happy New Year...


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