Tea Time: Conclusion

The woman talked about her daughter who was inclined to pursue some sort of art, exactly what escapes me now. However, she mentioned a book I vaguely remembered hearing about before. It was called The Artist’s Way. She said her daughter read the book and followed some of the suggestions for increasing creativity including writing five pages first thing every morning, just random thoughts that came to mind without thinking, and also taking a day off for doing something alone like visiting an art museum. It was called an artist’s date.

We had been talking for an hour or more. As they gathered up the chairs and tables, etc., I invited them to my home but they were eager to be on their way to another campgrownd in NJ. The husband said he place was known for a number of birds living there. They in turn invited me to come visit them if I ever went to Ireland.

They gave me a card which included their telephone number, address and the website about their experiences forageing. I did look up the website and also found a library copy of The Artists Way. For some weeks I wrote the morning pageswhich I found the other day.

I do believe things happen for a reason. Sometimes it is apparent at the time or a while later; but sometimes we never know the why of it until we meet again in an eternal place beyond time. Although it would be ‘craic’ to join them for baking cakes one day

Tea Time: Continued

If you were a bird flying above the church parking lot that summer morning, you would see the three of us sitting next to the travel van in folding chairs, sipping tea and breaking bread together. The lot was devoid of other vehicles. The couple came from Ireland. This was their last day in the states and somehow they were spending time in this out of the way place on their way to another park where the husband planned to photo graph birds.

My notes taken concerning this chance meeting are missing; these are memories salvaged from the computer of my mind. Though incomplete I feel they are worth noting. The wife was talkative and cheerful and quick to reveal her husband was an atheist though he went to Mass with her that morning. He immediately said, “I am a scientist” as if that explained everything. Without thinking I commented, “That is all the more reason you should believe.”

He remained silent as his wife began talking about her thoughts on the Catholic Church. She took a more liberal stance on the issues surrounding our Church than I held. Still we expressed our own views listening to each other. The two of us also discussed politics as well. but I do not recall exactly what we said. We had violated the rules of casual polite conversing __with no outbursts or arguments.

We talked about our personal lives: our children, travel experiences, hobbies. They were quite involved with scavenging in wild areas of their country including one particular unpopulated island.  Her husband commented on their work in that field. They had been to Medjugorji and the womam spoke about the ‘craic’ they had there. In fact she also used that word referring to the cake baking socials she had with friends at home. It was  Irish slang for fun.

Medjugorji is a place in Bosnia Herzegovina where the Blessed Mother has been appearing since June 24, 1981 to six children, now adults still receiving messages from Her. I happen to belong to a Medjugorji Rosary group and know several people who visited there many times. They used the word joy for their experiences at the site of the apparitions; still not officially approved by the Church but certainly known for the good fruit, including conversions, coming from pilgrimages there.

Although this was (as of now) a one time meeting, somehow I felt connected to these two people from the Emerald Isle.

Please bear with me for one more Tea Time post….


Tea time in the Parking Lot

Time is precious and in planning our day, we often weigh our options. For myself and many others choices are difficult at times. This was the case for me one morning a few years ago. Although I was drawn to attend weekday Mass, the list of things on my agenda for that day somewhat overwhelmed me.Yt in the end I went to the 8:30 Mass at my parish. After all it lasted less than forty minutes. There were a scant dozen or so people scattered around the sanctuary most of whom were regular attendees. I noticed one couple I had never seen before seated to the far right of me.

Our priest was fairly new to our small country parish. He used an i-pad for notes on his homilies which were always inspiring. He was rather aloof and holy, I thought, and young. After Mass I left hurridly to begin the tasks neatly itemized on the paper pad in my pocket. As I walked toward my car, the strangers were just ahead of me strolling toward a medium size travel van. Being a curious soul, I said hello to them and they turned around returning my greeting with a smile.

My list evaporated as I asked, “Are you on vacation?”

The woman who seemed about in her forties said, “We’re staying at the state park down the road. First we’ll have our tea. Please join us.”

I detected an accent undeniably Irish. The couple intriuged me and I rationalized a few minutes for tea would be a welcome respite. Also, they were alone in the USA, the land of friendliness and good will.

They were taking folding chairs out of the van’s side door. “Thank you, that is nice of you. I’d love to join you.” Being a would-be reporter, a myriad of questions filled my head as I sat down and the husband produced a thermos and small table from the vehicle. His wife set out cups and paper plates and began slicing a delicious looking bread as the man handed her a hand labled jar of jam.

At the other end of the parking lot, I saw the tall, slim figure of our priest in his traditional black cassock look in our direction before entering the back door of the rectory. I wondered what he was thinking of the tea time in the parking lot.

More to come…