Three things about community

It’s been a really busy week or two for me.

I spent Thanksgiving with college friends, including one I hadn’t seen for at least a decade.

We had many late-night conversations rambling about all and everything, a lot of great food, and a lot of laughter. These are people I talk to fairly regularly online (LiveJournal and email are great ways for us to stay caught up with each other’s lives!) but seeing them in person, I’m always caught by both how much time has passed (a decade, since I graduated college) and how little.

We have changed, and yet, we remain the same.

Cycles and changes:
I got back from that, and was flung into a week of extremely busy preparations for various things. My boss has taken a new job (I’ve known this for a while – I’m sliding into his role for the spring semester, while the school I work for does their usual national search. I’ll be applying – and while I definitely hope they pick me, I also need to prepare for the possibility they won’t, so a lot of my focus this spring is going to be on my professional life.)

So, between reading resumes for hiring a replacement for what I’m doing now (and I’ll come back to this), I was also coming home and preparing for his farewell party on Friday. (He’s actually leaving in two weeks, but this was the best time for the party.)

One of the things I very much appreciate about my religious choices is that they have made me far better prepared for dealing with cycles. Not just the big shiny religious year cycles – much as I enjoy and need those. But it’s also taught me how to deal with the smaller life changes – like my boss and close co-worker of 8 years moving on to something else. (This is, mind you, 8/10ths of my professional life, and approaching half of his professional life at the school.

All of this meant that I spent two nights this week (along with other stuff I needed to do at home, like (very belated) winter insulation things like putting plastic on the windows) also making the incredibly decadent chocolate brownies for his party. (The recipe makes very large numbers of them, and it’s a 2-day process, so life is much happier if I only make them for substantial events.)

The party was fantastic – more than that, a substantial number of retired faculty showed up, which is, well, a sign that someone’s been doing things right. Everyone seems to have had a good time (and the speeches were lovely), and .. well, I’m going to miss my boss.

Saturday, I spent at a day long class on runes, taught by Donald Engstrom, husband to a dear friend and tradmate. I got to see several of my tradmates I haven’t seen much recently, some people I know slightly through the local community, and several people I didn’t previously know. It was a fabulous day, and I loved having the chance to immerse myself in this particular study, and to have wide ranging conversation during meals and at other breaks. Definitely an amazing way to spend a Saturday.

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