Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The Only Brew for the Brave and True Comes from the Green Dragon!

This past weekend I returned for the second time this academic year to the U of I at Champaign Urbana. The last time I returned to C-U, I did a blog about what home is and how to get back there... and if getting back there is even possible. Well, going back to U of I is still like a homecoming to me. Same old Fever house, same old Chat, same old St. John's in all of it's glory, same feelings of fellowship and real belonging with good friends. I walked into Murphy's pub, just like always, looked across the room and saw Besh, Mahoney, and Debbie, just like always. Then I ordered a pint, just like always and we went downstairs as if none of us had never left. And there was merrymaking, laughter, and offerings of cheers. Strangely, and somewhat wonderfully, it was as it should be. Then Pat was talking to a girl for a while, as we all watched in anticipation of the crash and burn. He came back and said, "well, now Lindsay thinks I'm an idiot." It was perfect, really.

The weekend went on like this and honestly could not have gone any better. I ate breakfast at Courier cafe, went to hours and hours of Eucharistic Adoration, went to mass said by Father Layden (an excellent homilist), did dishes with Besh and Jason, and ate dinner with my parents and the Cranes who came up for the day. I was even able to go for a long run on my old route through the south farms and the whole of campus. However, I did fail to anticipate the -12 degree wind chill and my hat freezing to my head. But it was good to be back on the flat land, where my stout legs can roam freely and without pain. Finally, on Sunday I was able to play a small, but significant role in the Koinonia retreat at St. John's, which you can ask me about later it you like. But it was certainly inspiring and touching to say the least. As I rode back to Kentucky, we could see the sun softly fading into the rear-view horizon. The Illinois plains burst into colors of purple, orange, and blue, quietly fading into black. I must say, I was sad to be leaving.

Back in the Bluegrass, things go on, much as they have these past months. The house we're currently working on, Theo and Joan's home, is a wonderful job. We have done all the windows and doors, put in new electrical, siding, sofit, and blown insulation into the ceilings. Joan and Theo are so appreciative and a joy to work for. Joan even made breakfast for us yesterday complete with gravy. Ever since that guy told me that I didn't need any more gravy, I have acquired the nickname "The Gravy boat". Anywho, Joan said to us, which I thought quite touching, "This is MY pleasure. I love to cook and you have all done so much, it's the least I can do." She voiced this in her typical, raspy Kentucky dialect. It's a pleasure to be Christ to others, but, equally glorious and blessed is to allow others to be Christ to you as well. Joan took as much joy in serving us as we received from serving her. And, that is one thing about volunteer life. You think you are giving so much; time, work, your sweat and frustration. But, actually, you are often the one receiving as well. It proves the words of St. Francis over and over, "It is in giving that we receive."

This is Gamgee, singing off.

Now Watching: Waking Ned Diving
Now Reading: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

your quote of the day:

Of all the comrades e'er I had, they're sorry for my going away,
And all the sweethearts e'er I had , they wish me one more day to stay,
But since it falls unto my lot that I should go and you should not,
I'll gently rise and softly call, goodnight and joy be with you all!

If I had money enough to spend and leisure time to sit awhile,
There is a fair maid in this town who sorely has my heart beguiled.
Her rosy cheeks and ruby lips, I own she has my heart in thrall,
So fill me to the parting glass, goodnight and joy be with you all!


Christopher J said...

Tell me how you like Brideshead and Ned Divine!?

Anonymous said...

Prayer is a hugely powerful thing.

So is having enough gravey.