Our son is on spring break this week. And I am embracing the selfishness of the week. I do not have to worry about frantic calls from school requesting I bring some forgotten item. I did not go food shopping and I will not be cooking at all this week (I confess to sautéing some mushrooms for my salad but that’s the extent of it). I do not have to wait for the notification regarding what time school pick up is. I am just being. And I love it. And I hate it.
This past weekend we did more things than we have done in the previous six months. We dropped our son off in Kahaluu at around eleven and hit the road at noon. We visited touristy locations and native Hawaiian cultural sites. We hightailed it back into town just in time to attend a 5:30 church service at a local Episcopal parish. This is shocking statement coming from me. I was raised Catholic but when my parents divorced we basically became godless heathens. That may be an exaggeration but my mom was suddenly a single mom who had not worked ever. She had more things to worry about than the upkeep of our Catholicism (not her religion, thank you very much). I had been to the local church we visited in the past for funeral services and it is really pretty. We have both had some death in the family recently which has affected us. I thought it would be something that could not hurt. Us attending was something that could not hurt.
We arrived at church right before the service was set to start. We snuck in and sat in a way back pew. One of the members came down and invited us to sit right in front of the altar where the choir normally sits. Because that’s where everyone else was. And when I say everyone, it was no more than twenty other attendees. I felt a little uncomfortable, in that small space, with people who all knew each other. And I can’t lie, the heavy bible stuff kind of turns me off. But I really liked the sermon. I liked that the bible verse was translated for today. And that the Pastor gave us personal stories. I did not take communion. And yes, I was the only one. I am not there. I may never be there. And I’m okay with that. My significant other, who grew up on the Episcopal church did. He told me that the service was just as he remembered. That the prayer books were the ones that he used as a child. I think that the entire experience was good for him. And maybe good for me.
After the service, a woman in front of us turned around to chat. She told us when the services were with the choir because we had discussed how nice it would be with singing. This woman reminded me of one of my best friend’s moms. She did not look like her but she had the same shape of hair and the same type of glasses. And then she told us that she was from New York (like me). And that her name was Susan, like my mom. And she told us all these things about the parish. And it was nice. We felt connected.
I have definitely not come around when it comes to the whole religion thing. I have some issues with it. But at this point in my life, in our lives, we are searching for something. We are. And I am not saying that religion is going to be the thing for me. I can’t say that I’ve found God. I can’t say that I had a come-to-Jesus moment. It is more like a mid-life/existential crisis looking for a cure. Maybe it is more for the sense of community and belonging than anything. Maybe I will decide that it is not for me. But I think that we will keep going. We may try the mass with the singing. I feel like we may continue going. It helps that I confessed my anti-bible-no communion stance to my church going Aunt and she said that it was okay. And who knows what else we may be trying. This might just be the first thing. Because we are trying to make sense of something that doesn’t seem to have much sense around it. But there are so many questions that we can’t seem to answer. So we will continue seeking. Who knows what we may or may not find.