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  • Elaine Fletcher Chapman

Open Heartedness, Thursday

On Market Street the trees are in blossom and our pink dogwood in the back yard is budding. I say our but really the church owns this house, The Parsonage. For three years, home to me, my husband and our dog. It never occurred to me that we were temporary. Call it denial. Since the announcement has been made that we are leaving, every day someone shows up at our door unannounced. We welcome them in, offer tea, coffee, cookies if we have them. On Sunday we offered lunch. I served small turkey sanwiches on my great grandmother’s china. The one with the small pink roses and gold trim. Really to sooth myself. Afterwards I washed each dish by hand as my mother always did. Today we have no groceries other than the vegtables we picked up yesterday from a local farm. No time to even go to the market for necessities. We’ve been eating at Janet’s almost daily. She knows when we haven’t had time to shop and feeds us healthy meals: salads, soups. My favorite sandwich, Avocato Delight. Nuturance and hospitility. People arrive confused, angry, upset, that we are leaving. We do our best to console. Something we do after a great deal of practice : listen and allow space for feelings to exist. Sacred space. That’s all we can do today. 

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