This morning, I woke up a half hour after my alarm. My bed was cozy and my head hurt, but there is a post it note by my bed which says, "Get up and think happy thoughts, don't try for five more minutes of less than restful sleep." This reminded me that I do not want to miss Meeting just because I stayed up too late the night before. So I got up.
I am glad I did.
I slipped in just before the doors closed, and I did not even have to speed on my way there. It was a beautiful meeting. There weren't very many leadings from outside the thoughts of the Meeting; it seemed people were reflecting on their lives and the things they were grateful for. Many people stood to speak about the kindness of the Meeting, the generosity it had shown them; one man spoke of the way his beliefs were affected by the validity of the ideas of a couple he met on a train; another said, quite simply, that Love is Sweet. I cried a bit.
The Clerk of Meeting and his wife are the kind of people I want to be when I grow up: gentle, peaceful, so intentional you can feel it. Today was potluck day. When the clerk asked, I volunteered to set up tables. Then, on my way to get coffee, the Clerk came over (his gray ponytail reminds me of my Dad's), put a hand on each of my shoulders, and said, "Thank you." It was wonderful.
We blessed the food. Turns out, you're supposed to have children present to bless the food in Quaker tradition. Grace was a rather upbeat song. We sat around and talked and ate; there were hilarious discussions about adapting to extreme weather and serious ones about the nature of peace. We sat in the shade outside and were together. I have been going to this Meeting about ten weeks, and today I met new people and re-met people I've met before. I picked up conversations left off at the last potluck, and I learned quite a few things about the people I sit with every Sunday morning. Honestly, it didn't matter that people I'd met had forgotten me a little, because they sought me out to say hello and introduce themselves while I was doing the dishes afterwords. They were all so very nice. They made eye contact. I like that.
This morning felt like it was full of light. There wasn't a person there who wasn't grateful for everybody else, it seemed.
Sometimes I say things before I know what I mean, and I hurt people. Sometimes I hurt them in other ways. So I knit them things, I cook for them, I torture myself with embarrassment, and I apologize. It never really fixes it. Today, though, was a healing day. I think there's a lesson in being grateful.
Later, I went to Central Market to save some money on groceries. I found an aisle -- a whole aisle -- of gluten free food! There were soups with noodles, there were frozen pizzas, there were different types of bread. I found a VARIETY of bagels, baking mixes for everything I could ever want to bake, and all-purpose flour. There were raviolis and gnocchi and frozen dinners. There was boxed macaroni and cheese. I had a selection of noodles. I stood there for ten minutes with happy tears in my eyes, being so thankful and happy. It was whole aisle full of food that wouldn't make me feel bad. How great is that?!? It was like my grocery store gave me a hug. It was actually better than interspersed gluten free options at Whole Foods, because it was like a whole little store just for me. There were no temptations to fight, just delicious looking food! Lovely!
What a wonderful day. A content day, with lots of things to be grateful for, and I didn't miss any of them... I don't think.