Greetings from the Garden State, where we landed after a long travel day across this country. The northwest is hovering at about 65 degrees F, but when we got off the plane it was a balmy 98 degrees+ humidity. Our weakened immune systems aren't up for this. But we're glad to be here, basking in the company with the best of friends who know our jokes, our proclivities, our family histories, our frailties and strengths. While we drove across the New Jersery Turnpike this evening we talked about what we might do this week. The consensus is that we'll do a day in Manhattan, a day on a boat out to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty, a day in Princeton, and perhaps another day in Philidephia. We can't see everything, but we'll get a taste of what life might be life around here. And a taste is all we need, I think.
A few weeks ago, one of Beve's brothers told me that he didn't like the people on the east coast. "Have you ever visited there?" I asked him. "No, and I don't plan to," he told me. That seems pretty small-minded to me. How can a person judge what a place is like without visiting that place, I wonder?
But we do this a lot, don't we? We make judgments about whether things are good or not based on others experiences, rather than our own, then take them as gospel. This does not speak well for us.
In any case, I'd rather has a taste of the world on this coast, in these cities than never visit them at all. I'm fascinated by the life piled in them, the history that came teeming through Ellis Island, past the Statue of Liberty. I don't know which--if any of my own ancestors I'd find in those rolls, but the place is surely haunted with our ancestors.
Just as this week is haunted with a different kind of heritage. These three couples have found a rhythm of relationship that deepens every year, that becomes increasingly family-like, and is an elemental part of our summer. We need these days together to gear up for whatever God calls us forth to. We are encouraged, strengthened, built up for the work of the year.
Tonight I only know that I'm in Cranbury, New Jersery. The Garden State. Ready for whatever He brings to this week. It will be sweet.