Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Sweetest Open House Ever — Elizabeth Garber

You might think that it was the golden light of August, the singing hum of cicadas in the background, the rumbling of hand-crank ice cream makers grinding ice around blueberry ice cream, or the bowls of coconut milk ginger or peach sorbet, or the circle of musicians under the shade trees in the front yard that made this the sweetest open house ever, but I don't think it was all of that fine sweetness. It was what happened for all of us when Chuck visited on his way home from the hospital, five days after open heart surgery.

The children had made him a bright, colorful get-well banner. He sat in a chair under the ancient locust tree, standing up to hug each of us, and the musicians circled around and played for him. Tears of tenderness and love welled up for all of us, over and over. We suddenly realized how deeply we are growing to care for each other, how a web of caring and love is connecting us all. How we couldn't stop gazing at Chuck with love and fondness and awe, that one who had stepped so close to the edge of life and death had returned to us, and it meant so much. We looked around at everyone and realized how much we cared about each other at such a deep level, and that this is at the heart of all we are doing.

Thank you all for the gifts you brought to the day — the ice cream you made, the mowing and weed-whacking, the generosity of all the conversations you offered the abundance of guests, the tours on the land and the prototype house, the playing with children, and the giant bubbles that filled the afternoon with luminous joy.

It was a blessed day.

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