Despite my total humiliation at Mass yesterday, it was really a beautiful day for our family. We are still catching our collective breath at this sudden shift in our fortunes: exchanging our pajama-wearing freelance lifestyle for a more conventional Daddy-commutes-to-the-office arrangement. It is a good thing Rilla came along to teach me how to get a day's writing done before the rest of the house is stirring.
We're all a jumble of emotions: excited about the adventure, heartbroken to leave our friends here, curious to know if Southern California can possibly compare to this gorgeous valley nestled up against the Blue Ridge Mountains, anxious about the hellish logistics of a cross-country move. So much to decide, so much to do. Our heads are full and our minds a-whirl.
Rose's Communion had been planned for yesterday because her godparents, Scott's brother and his wife, were stopping off to visit us for a night on their way down to grandma's house with the kids. Rose is a reserved child who hates to be the center of attention, which is why we'd arranged for her to make her First Communion at a small daily Mass instead of a big standing-room-only Sunday one. The decision to have Rilla baptized immediately following the Mass was a hasty last-minute one made after Scott decided to accept the job offer in California. We realized we're going to have a hectic and crazy-busy rest of the summer and it made sense to go ahead and have the baby baptized now instead of late July as we'd been planning, even though most of our relatives wouldn't be able to come on such short notice.
In all the chaos I hadn't really noticed that yesterday was the feast day of Blessed Junipero Serra, an eighteenth-century Franciscan priest who founded missions all along the coast of California. Imagine how my heart thumped when our priest, Fr. Francis, began his homily with a story about his trip to San Diego last year when he visited the mission established by Father Junipero. He spoke about Junipero's travels and how he was so full of joy in the gospel that he couldn't help sharing it wherever he went. The homily ended with these words, which are still ringing in my ears:
"Like Bl. Junipero, we too are sent forth to—through our lives and occasionally through our words—share our joy with others."
To share our joy. I thought about how that is really why I blog: to share my joy in my children, my husband, the books we love, the hard-fought battles we win...I just realized I've got it right up there in my sidebar: "to share the resources that make learning a joy." A kind reader made that comment on this blog early on, and I grabbed hold of it (with her permission) as expressive of exactly what I want to be doing here.
And now it seems we're being sent forth to share our joy "through our lives and occasionally our words," to quote Fr. Francis quoting St. Francis, in a new place far away. It will be hard to leave these bonny green hills we love so much, but then I always say that the Bonny Glen is a state of mind (which means that we don't always live there, but we do try). We'll make a lilting house of our new home, too.