Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Prone to wander.

Today, I'm still in Louisiana, sitting in a good coffee shop in my old stomping grounds. I have spent time with good family and friends, eaten all of my favorite foods and shared some good laughs, cries and stories. Louisiana has my heart, no doubt. Below is a picture of my grandmother Dee Dee's front porch - one of the best places on earth. My good friend Jessica and I sat and drank gin and tonics with Dee Dee until deep into the evening, fanning ourselves, talking about life and love and just passing the time. Southern-philosophizing, I think.

Tomorrow, though, I'll fly back to DC. Originally I was going to fly to NYC on Saturday to go visit my school, General Theological Seminary (GTS), for a few days before going to NJ to see my friend, Claire, on the shore. Hurricane Irene changed those plans! First time in my life that I've said "Well, I guess I can't leave the deep south because there's a hurricane bearing down on NYC." So, I got a few more precious days with family and friends here, which has been great. This afternoon, I'm making shrimp and corn soup with shrimp I picked up in Alabama on my way back from fantastic family time at the beach.

The seafood place doubled as a place to get a bail-bondsman. That's right, you can get fresh gulf shrimp and bail someone out of jail. Talk about multi tasking. The tag line they had was "Come on vacation; leave on probation." Fantastic.

When I get back to DC, I'll be packing, tying up a few loose ends and spending time with my DC-family while I can. A week from now, I leave to go to Cambridge, England for a year to begin my seminary training towards my call to be an Episcopal Priest. The school I'm attending there is called Westcott House. I am the first student in a new exchange program between GTS and Westcott House, and couldn't be more thrilled about that opportunity! My cousin, Seth Haines, just published a post today on his blog and, in part, referenced one of my favorite hymns "Come thou fount of every blessing" by stating that some folks he knows "may be prone to wander like the rest of us." Growing up, I always thought that maybe that song worked two ways. I think that we're prone to wander and hopefully wonder a bit, too. They are both good words, wander and wonder. The German word "wandern" actually translates to walk and can often reference going hiking or being kind of outdoorsy (as I understand it, at least!) That's interesting in comparison to our word, wander, because it seems to mean that maybe we wander not aimlessly, but more with a path in mind. Open to wondering at the world around us and about our lives, wandering through this path of life -- looking beyond ourselves. Here's my favorite version of Come thou Fount.

Much love and wondering/wandering coming from me to all of you.

By the way, I plan on posting what I'm reading as I write these blog posts, because I think books are neato and usually want people to read what I'm reading so we can talk about it. Right now, I'm loving this book -- The Irresistible Revolution: Living as an Ordinary Radical by Shane Claiborne. This book was recommended (given) to me by Elizabeth Rives McCormick and Davi McCormick, two wonderful ordinary radicals in my own life. Pick up a copy.


  1. Get me a cocktail, a ticket, and maybe an outdoorsy German - I'll be right there Ms. Mae!

  2. Still a little bummed you're not with us in Alexandria, but truly excited for you and this wonderful opportunity. We're still gonna kick GTS' butt in flag football. Go VTS! Blessings & Peace to you, Mae. I hope we can come visit while you're in Cambridge. dmc

  3. I shared with my Dad the bail bond/shrimp story, he laughed out loud, and said, "only in the South!"- Claire

  4. Speedy Dee Dee! I had a blast on the trip! So glad I got to hang with you and your very fun, delightful family! Hope to see you in DC before you leave for the big UK!

    I will always remember the time we shared in Jena...what a place!

  5. MAN do I love that version of "Come thou fount." Maybe we'll meet up before you leave but if not have an amazing trip! England is a lucky bastard.