I didn’t quite catch her name, but I did hear the woman standing in the picnic shelter wearing a peach colored top say she was a retired pastor now living in a town about 20 miles away. She was introducing herself at the beginning of the worship service for Spring Garden Lutheran Church in rural Goodhue County near Cannon Falls.
Then another woman nearby played a familiar hymn on the keyboard about friendship. I softly chimed in with words about “privilege” and carrying everything in prayer, as I stood by the past prime hostas alongside the white wooden building.
The pastor received applause from those seated nearby in their own folding chairs. (I used to have such a thing, given to me by a pastor I worked with, but it long since met its demise. Been meaning to get a new one… my husband has lots of Cabela’s points.) She had sung and played the guitar. I liked the words “when it’s all been said and done.” The new tune kind of got stuck in my head — eventually dredging up a memory on my drive home.
That was after scriptures and the sermon about the value of wisdom in asking questions about difficult subjects. In the story, a fifth-grader had some answers to how to change the world — including having better night lights and healthier hamsters.
The memory that came to mind for me was about a big soft toy bear. A friend had given it to me when I was an adult, handing it over in a restaurant, I believe. Carrying it from my car to the house where I was staying I looked up at a street sign for inspiration as to a name. One of the streets was named after a president, which didn’t quite seem to fit him. The cross street had a name pronounced like “all been,” which seemed appropriate to my circumstances at the time because I remember telling myself, and my new furry friend, Albin, that “it’d all been said and done” regarding a previous relationship. I was sufficiently inspired to find my old “warm fuzzy” and bring him along when venturing back later to admire the tidy old log cabin also located on the property.
I find background music sometimes helps provide structure, context and resolve during life’s ongoing quests and questions.