How busy is your weekend? If you have kids you probably have at least 2-3 hours dedicated to some sports team or dance class. If you’re in Ossining, maybe we’ll run into each other at Nelson Park, Brookside, or Snowden. Or maybe you’re one of my friends that I’ll see at the farmer’s market. Or maybe, like me, you have a couple of events to attend for work. (If you do, I hope you love your work as much as I do!)
Whatever you’re already planning on doing, if you think your mind or spirit could us a little kick or a little rest, I invite you to join the Gearitys for either of these events this weekend…
Today, Saturday, we will be meeting at 12:30pm at 81 Croton Avenue to tour the fabulous sculpture exhibit winding its way through the village of Ossining. If you are anywhere in driving distance, please join us!! We’ve “seen” all of the pieces, and even read the blurb on the map and sat down to talk and draw a couple. But this public art exhibit is such a special event in our community, we want to make the most of it. So Bonnie Talluto, one of the docents trained to guide tours of this exhibit, will be meeting us at the first sculpture and helping us do just that. I don’t know how often she has tours with kids, but she’s been warned. I understand the docents participating in this program are often artists or teachers, and are very enthusiastic about the project. Our boys often attend programs designed for adults, but in this case they’ll get to run around periodically and the small group tour is being specially tailored for us and our friends of many ages. Oh, and get this, it’s free!
Tomorrow, Sunday, we will attend Chappaqua Friends Meeting at 10:30am at 420 Quaker Road in Chappaqua. This week is Visitors Week. If you’ve ever been curious to find out what Quakers do in our worship, please come. Why would people choose to sit together quietly in a room for an hour? I’m sure every Quaker, or Friend as we call ourselves, has his or her own reason for showing up. When we started attending the Chappaqua Friends Meetings I was just grateful that for one hour a week someone would entertain my kids and I could sit quietly without feeling guilty for not cooking, cleaning or caring for someone else.
As the years have gone by, I’ve found different reasons to be grateful for that hour of my week. Sometimes I am able to quiet my mind as I focus on each sound I’m experiencing in that moment—the clock ticking, the woman shifting in her seat, the car driving by, the wind… Sometimes my mind races as it seeks to find order in all that I’ve done or thought about during the week. Sometimes my mind is able to let go of the busyness of the previous six days and wander onto a thought on something grander, deeper, or simpler. Sometimes I even feel moved to stand up and share a message with the meeting. Sometimes no one does. Sometimes we just sit quietly for the hour, often with our eyes closed, listening.
Eric and I came to Quakerism after years of not participating in organized religion. I wrote a bit about that journey in a post this summer. I think it’s fair to call Quakerism “organized religion”, though it’s very different than most. There is no top down hierarchy. No paid staff. No pastor. Instead, decisions are made by committee. Various committees manage the property, the social gatherings, ministering to Friends in need, the children’s program, the newsletter… And though there is certainly a diversity of opinions, talents, and interests among meeting members and attenders, we share a desire to live our core values of simplicity, stewardship, integrity, equality, community and peace. And usually that’s enough to help us all seek to find consensus so that we can work together to maintain this special place of fellowship that has come to mean something different to each of us. If you join us, you will feel welcome. And we will feed you tasty treats.