Saturday, July 26, 2008

Ode to Ann Arbor

I would write an ode to my hometown, to my home...but it's just too much. I realize that is something of a cop-out. But seriously, I'm hormonal, and once I start thinking about it I will never be able to stop the tears and the wallowing.
I do want to say that my gratitude to God for letting me live here and be formed here through these relationships and surroundings is unbounded. I recognize the incredible debt that I owe to the people who have made this place the uniquely fertile ground for relational and spiritual growth that it is. The depth of relationship and the intricacies of the various connections in this community continue to astound me. This wedding today is a perfect example - the connections between the two families go back 3 generations and it gives the blessing, "may you live to see your children's children" all the more richness in this particular application.
The friendships that I've formed here have been so "real". In fact, I wouldn't even call it friendship, I'd call it family. My friends here are really family. Brothers and sisters. I believe that the community roots have struck deep into my heart, even though I moved here "late", and I just can't fathom life without it's influence. It's Catholic-life at it's best.
As excited as I am to accept this new adventure and opportunity from the Lord's generous hand I can't leave without in some small way acknowledging the uniqueness of this place and these people. There is a triad of influences in this area that I don't believe can be replicated anywhere else, they need to grow naturally from the influence of the Holy Spirit. There's the roots of deep, abiding relationships that grew out of the ecumenical community. There's the efforts of various organizations founded by a Catholic philanthropist, Monaghan. And then there's the charismatic parish-life that is sort of the best of all the good influences coming together. Unique. Other places are wonderful and will have their own triads, or whatever, of goodness but Ann Arbor is still my home and all of you are still my family. I am grateful to my core for what I've been given by living here. And I hope that God sees fit to bring me home again sometime.
It's dangerous to write anything while feeling emotional and I'm trying to not be mushy and stuff but what can I say...sorry if I'm grossing you out.
Frankly, I won't even GO into the particulars of the relationships that I'll personally be missing. You know who you are and you know that I'm not saying anything because I just feel it too deeply to communicate it. It would be a big, snotty scene and nobody likes a big, snotty, pregnant woman.
I love you all and I'll be seeing you soon. Keep some of your children available for marriage to some of my children please, we need to make this family thing official.

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