How do you wave in the midst of an extended corner conversation?
Someone who is well-known to many from my church and lives in the neighborhood stopped by. We re-met. We had a wonderful conversation about the roots of Columbia, Jim Rouse, and the neighborhood. At first I was slightly ancy, only because I knew that I wasn’t waving. But, I was so enjoying talking to the neighbor. It has of course felt natural to stop waving when anyone actively wants to speak with me. And this is important. I want to see and know my neighbors. What better way then when they come and are up for an up close conversation?
I think we must have talked for 12-15 minutes. I got to hear about her love of the town and the love she has for her local faith community and leader. We agreed that there is just something about building and living into community that is important grounding for a spiritual life and way of being.
When I stop for conversation I’m not leaving my post. I am meeting someone in the crucial moment of the now. I aim to give them my full attention. It is simply a continuation of the attention I’ve been streaming out to the hundreds passing. I zero in on the one before me and all who pass may see two neighbors meeting with joy on our common street. This is waving, too. Connecting face-to-face.
And although we didn’t make eye contact, I saw Middle Finger Man again. Again, he chose not to flip me off. Schwoo.
Earlier in the day I was at a long clergy session. We heard from Dr. Teresa L. Fry Brown of Candler School of Theology in Atlanta. She reminded us that everywhere is holy ground and that we “preach” everywhere–not just in some pulpit. How we select the eggs in the market, how we behave in the parking lot, how we itneract on the street corner–every element communicates something about who we are in the world and how we use our voices.
Now, if my children and I could just tap into more joy when we negotiate each morning about the cereal!:)