I know it will hit me, soon, that my second home for over 40 years is no longer able to shelter me and I am wandering.
This time the seasons are against us. Even if we had unlimited money, energy, and sweat equity we may not be able to make it habitable in time. Winter is fast approaching and with it the need for heat, light, and electricity. Last time the floodwaters came in April, with an entire spring and summer to repair and replace.
I know in my head we need to choose how and when to say goodbye to the building that has sheltered us as a congregation for 50 years, sustaining a liberal religious community which dates back over 150 years. The land wants to take back this location.
Memories are numerous: my boys in the Sunday School, a quartet of members playing during the service, eloquent and provocative sermons from the pulpit, services led by other members sharing thoughts, Christmas Eve, adults in the congregation developing important relationships with my children, intergenerational field trips, Halloween parties, potlucks, talent shows, formal Past Presidents’ Dinners, sheltering in storms when our remote neighborhood seemed to have heat, electricity, and WIFI when surrounding towns did not, end of the year picnics, and making good friends one by one.
I realize these memories are of being with people; but people who I met there! Where is the there now? How do we find our hub? Perhaps, just maybe, we can find a way to have our relationship with that land be part of our future.
FUSW will always be part of my life. The red bud tree Annie and I planted the Spring after he died is a celebration of Bernard’s life at FUSW. I feel part of it although not as active as we were.
Wishing you continued reaching out of support by all who have entered the doors of the Society in restoring its place in society working for justice, equity and peace for all.
How do you move a memorial garden? A commemorative tree? What do I do with the memories contained inside these walls, the view out of the window behind the pulpit? I picture children running in the hallways, and then I picture our hymnals floating in 4 feet of water - and my grief seems to float with them.
A part of me says it’s wrong to feel sad about a place; that it’s not a human being. But still.