"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Little Bit Mennonite

I'm making a collage of the pieces of myself right now...(Pinterest!!!) and one of the pieces that went in first was a Mennonite visual. My horse and buggy self is about my roots, simplicity, feeling useful  and maybe most of all belonging with other people. I am determined to build community here in California...but also, here in my mid-thirties, here in motherhood and here in the middle of the 2000's .... to surround myself with other women who are willing to work shoulder to shoulder, laugh together, cry together and help  mother each other's children.

 I am meeting interesting people out here and I am slowly piecing together a mental patchwork quilt of who in my acquaintance looks like the type who would be up for impromptu picnics, late night emergency calls from the bathroom and random canning adventures. I crave connection and can't even tell you how deeply it feeds me to have real soul like that in my life and yet...and yet.... I'm lazy. Super lazy. I don't want to be the organizer. I'm tired, I'm overwhelmed, I'm not "together," I'm super great at following. I'm also just scared. I'm intimidated by other people, I feel inhibited, I worry about all the choices, I'm uselessly perfectionistic about my plans, and I worry that reaching out might be more painful than staying here alone, in my shell. I mean, seriously, I know way better. I know how great it is to reach out, even if you're received warmly 1/4 of the time. Its always worth it. Its way great.

I am considering leading a little book study for women....a small group, a group not freaked out by Bible-y things but not too uptight either. Willing to really get into the meat of issues and talk about the rabbit trails and the puzzles and the weirdness. I bought a book, I even got as far as floating the idea to the proposed women. Then I froze with my paws in the air and have just twitched my nose for about three months. So much scarey!!!! Yipes!

I am also interested in having a super random and stand-alone women's night where we do things together, practical, solid things we can touch with our hands and see finished at the end of the night. Simple sewing, canning, photo transfer projects, medicinal tinctures, natural dye work, maybe even brave stuff like simple welding. I want to work with tools and creation and messes and things that tip over and splash and look scary. I want women to take turns coming up with ideas and leading project nights...sometimes something they love to do and want to share, sometimes something they need help with and want to share the burden and sometimes something they have always wanted to try and never felt brave enough. I have no idea how to do that and I haven't posted any bills or nailed down particulars but I'm dreaming. In my dreams this group meets (on my rotation) in our garage, right off of the garden in the backyard....on a summer night  and there is golden light shining out of the windows and lots of laughter and maybe a little wine.

Today, there was no wine, but there was a very big mug of hot herbal tea and a very short chat with a couple of new friends about the overwhelm. There were hugs and smiles and understanding looks and there was even a self-care assignment which led me to the bathtub for a long, hot soak, reflecting on the ways I feel isolated and need connection and want a community. The things I need and ought to look to, and the ways in which I can be a little Amish and pull some of their simplicity, capability, warmth and peace into my friendships. I am after all, a little bit Mennonite in my soul, thank you Mama, farming roots, Ma Ingalls, and Stutsmanville Chapel (my home church which was truly a Mennonite congregation once upon a time), its part of who I am.


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