Last night was back-to-school night at Woohoo's high school. Parents were given their student's schedule and were sent on a mini-day: seven minute classes to meet the teachers and hear their spiels, and five minutes to switch in the halls. Fun to be walking down the halls and see friends of my own and be transported to my own high school days 30 years ago.
Went with my friend Nancy. First got to know Nancy eleven years ago when she was the room parent for morning kindergarten and I was the one for the afternoon class. We coordinated some event that brought the two classes together - can't even remember now what it was, but it seemed of critical importance at the time. Anyway, a friendship began then and took hold when we were chairs of an auction the year our daughters were third graders.
Planned to meet at the front door when we were both done with "our" classes. Saw her talking to Chuck. I know Chuck - has a son our daughters' ages, too. Then came Sally. Know her, too. Also has a daughter the same age. The four of us stood around catching up, marveling that our kids are now juniors. Where has the time gone? How quickly they grow up. Who's driving and who's about to be. That kind of thing.
Then we remembered that Chuck, Sally and I met for the first time, almost twelve years ago, at 5:00 AM one cold January morning as we stood outside the K-8 school, lined up trying desperately to enroll our children when they opened the doors at 7:00 AM. Only a few spots left in kindergarten. We all wanted them. I was particularly nervous because we weren't parishioners. Both Sally and Chuck were not only parishioners, they were graduates. Nervously we waited, chatted, got to know one another, and eventually the doors opened and lo and behold, we all got coveted spots.
The rest is history.
Went to Rojo's 8th grade mass this morning, he dressed the altar (with some help). He remembered to bow in the right places. He did not talk to anyone he wasn't supposed to be talking to. He's made huge and important strides in his own "career" at this little school.
As the community stood holding hands and reciting the Lord's Prayer, I took a quick glance around. So many stories under one roof. Lots of pain. Lots of suffering. Lots of miracles. Lots of healing. Lots of life lived. Together - for better or for worse.
Our closing song was "We Are One Body," with a chorus that repeats,
"... and we do not walk alone." And that's really it, isn't it, we are one body. Our families, our small communities, our larger communities, our cities, states, countries, world, universe.
We are one body.
And we do not walk alone.
* Photo from www.sethskim.com