First, a "housekeeping" issue: I am blogging on my iPad! I've never done this before. It is a little scary and a lot flipping awesome.
Okay, so my mom and I arrived in Providence, Rhode Island Saturday night. When we leave on Wednesday we will be Certified Zentangle Teachers. Yahoo! There is supposed to be a registered trademark symbol after "Zentangle." Pretend it is there.
When we took our first Zentangle Basics class in May, I had an epiphany of the "my life just changed for forever and for good" variety. Zentangle swooped me right up into its beautiful, magical, mysterious arms and begged me to learn it, to practice it, and to teach it. How could I resist? I could not and that is why I'm here. Despite my enthusiasm, I spent the days leading up to this trip thinking I was delusional. I was scared.
Now that I'm here, I am way too excited to be scared.
Yesterday, I woke to church bells from the Grace Episcopalian Church across the street from our hotel. Beautiful. My mom and I took a walk.
Any time I have ever walked the streets of a place like Providence, the kind of place that was settled around the mid-1600s (that is 1-6, as in SIXTEEN!), I swear I can hear horseshoes clomping and carriage wheels rolling along the road beside me. I feel the presence of something powerful, something like Roger Williams, an advocate for religious liberty, and his cohorts laying the foundation on which hundreds of years of dreams were built. It feels as if no time has passed. It feels like Roger Williams and I are in this, whatever this is - the mosaic of life, I suppose - together. For me, that feeling of being connected, to something bigger than me, to Roger Williams and the settlers who walked the roads I walk right now almost 400 years ago, is an incredibly powerful feeling.
We walked to the First Unitarian Church of Providence to meet my dear friend, Emily, and her family. Lucky us, they live near Providence so we got to see them. Joe, Emily's husband, and his band were playing on the front lawn of the church. Emily's daughter sang back-up. It all added up to a Norman Rockwell-esque scene.
I was completely overcome with emotion. I had never met Emily's beautiful daughters. It was so great to see Emily and Joe, and that sense of connection intensified. My mom and I stepped into the church. My grandma, her mom, always said that when you entered a church for the first time, you could make a wish.
I slipped into a pew. It took a lot for me to stop myself from sobbing. Okay, I admit, I am a sap, but, sitting there, in this magnificent building, which was dedicated in 1816, I was moved to the core.
Had I a singing voice, I may have belted out the Hallelujah chorus. All I could manage was a chorus of thank yous in my mind. I thanked God for all the people in every congregation that came before Emily's. I have never been a religious girl, so when I say God, I mean Love. I thanked Love for every bucket of blood and sweat shed to build the church and every tear shed in grief and in joy.
My mom snapped pictures. We held hands.