Come into this zoom space, this special place. Be in this worship that is real, but not physical. Feel the love, the gratitude, the sorrow and the joy. See the hope and care reflected in the faces of our congregants, our minister and our staff. We are here together. Take a deep breath. Clear your mind. Relax. Ready? Set. Zoom.
This was my reflection/introduction for the congregational flower ceremony slide show.
This past week I began to think of flowers and gardens as metaphors for life. I thought of how the flowers in our flower ceremony come from all different places, the way we do when we join together. Some of the flowers come from carefully tended beds and some come from beds, like in my garden which I like to joke is designed around the concept of the survival of the fittest. Some may come from really hard places like between the cracks in a sidewalk. In the process of thinking about this I found this quote by Anne Lamott, which came from her book Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
“The garden is one of the two great metaphors for humanity.
The garden is about life and beauty and the impermanence of all living things.
The garden is about feeding your children, providing food for the tribe.
It’s part of an urgent territorial drive that we can probably trace back to animals storing food.
It’s a competitive display mechanism, like having a prize bull, this greed for the best tomatoes and English tea roses.
It’s about winning; about providing society with superior things; and about proving that you have taste, and good values, and you work hard.
And what a wonderful relief, every so often, to know who the enemy is.
Because in the garden, the enemy is everything: the aphids, the weather, time.
And so you pour yourself into it, care so much, and see up close so much birth, and growth, and beauty, and danger, and triumph.
And then everything dies anyway, right?
But you just keep doing it.”
We have spent this past year on zoom. I can tell you I had more than a few moments where I thought to myself, really, can I really do this another Sunday? Maybe you asked yourself this same question or maybe you had a different question you asked yourself. But we just kept doing it and we did it together for 42 Sundays. Oh we had glitches. We had some long moments when the video didn’t play or someone couldn’t unmute, but for the most part we all managed to pull off “going to service” without actually going anywhere!
Then, last Sunday was like that moment when the rain stops and the clouds split open and the sun streams down. Last Sunday many of us gathered outside our meetinghouse to exchange flowers, make art, and sing songs together. One person did not plan last Sunday. I can tell you because I was part of different groups who brainstormed what our first outdoor time could be like. At first it was just exchanging flowers and getting our pictures taken. But then somebody said, what if we have an art project, and somebody else said, what if the RE classes get to see each other in person, and somebody else said, what if the choir can sing together, and it just got bigger and bigger!
So last Sunday was Part I of the Flower Ceremony and this Sunday is part II. Lea, our Congregational Administrator Extraordinaire spent most of last Sunday taking pictures and during this past week she made a slideshow of us with our flowers to bring that joyful moment into this one. Thank you to those who could not attend last Sunday’s event, but who sent in photos. And if you were unable to attend in person or send a photo, please know you are still part of our ceremony, because you are here today.