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Reflection On An Aging Nomad

I finally finished retiring four years ago,
a process that started in my mid-fifties
due to late adopting kids with special needs,
including needs for me to be home
to personally walk them on,
harness them in,
and wheel them back off, their diverse buses
and robotic ramped vans.

During those final weeks of quasi-gainful employment
I amped up my search for a new home
preferably in New London, CT,
because I had visited, and liked, All Souls UU;

But, possibly in Norwich,
where I have some family,
not necessarily white like me,
or someplace more rural
in-between.

Long story short,
which is not like tangential me,
I ended up
or started out,
depending on where this story starts for you
and me
on the south end of Norwich,
just north of the old State Hospital,
seeking healthy justice 
above a steep and brooding bank
down to the troubled Thames River.

From here
it is difficult not to notice
how traffic flows
between Norwich and New London.

But, in the case of All Souls UU
and UU Norwich,
not so much,
maybe not enough.

When I lived in the Hartford area
I joyfully attended the Unitarian Society of Hartford,
a fairly large multicultural tent
filled with reviving gospel music.

So, when looking for a retirement destination,
I traveled on-line to uua.org
to see what might be available
in addition to All Souls New London
and found a small cell,
apparently renters quasi-homeless,
Norwich UU,
or UU Norwich,
or maybe both
I hope.

I pictured no choir,
no active faith formation options
for people of all ages
and figured,
probably not right for me.

Long story maybe a little bit short,
it took me over four years
to make my first Norwich UU visit,
recently.

I found somewhat fewer of us
than the number of Norwich residents
on the All Souls Members and ActiveAllies list.

My background is in cooperative economic
and affordable housing development.

With an MDiv from a Catholic seminary
and a double-Master's in Public Administration
and Community Development
from Southern Illinois,
Carbondale,
where Bucky Fuller once taught
Synergetics,

It feels awkward
to invest in All Souls together
where all souls are welcome,
by commuting back and forth alone in my blue steel truck,
while there is clearly plenty of room
and welcome
available right in my new home town,
where I now know no one except family,
over four years later.

This is a schizophrenic discomfort
for climate activist
and cooperative local community investor
me.

Back in my early adoption years,
I worked in the Office of Urban Affairs,
New Haven,
for the Archdiocese of Hartford,
where I listened to a great deal of turmoil
about aging and poor urban parishes
thinking about how to join forces
to survive
while sharing a clergy ministry team.

So, I wonder
How would it feel to UU Norwich survivors,
activists,
communicants,
healthy and smart registrants to vote local
while thinking global,
to carpool to All Souls on Sunday mornings,
to sit together
in chairs hooked to-gather,
perhaps joined by us other emigrant immigrant
Norwich residents already All Souls affiliated,

To also share a discussion circle
after the chalice light is extinguished
to check in with each other over coffee,
maybe herbal tea,
to reflect on what we heard
and sang
and sometimes endured, today,

To ponder aloud how this speaks
and does not speak
why
and how
and when we arrive together
back in Norwich,
having solved
and resolved to absolve
most of the Thames River watershed issues
rolling back and forth
and swelling in-between
this tidal river's ups and downs.

Perhaps some of us
or even all of us
would also like to form a Sanctuary Circle
meeting during the week.

Maybe have lunch together,
share our Norwich organizing
and multicultural explorations together,
contribute to All Souls Green Sanctuary
and GRACE anti-racism projects,
restore justice to replace retributive injustice,
speak power with truth,
live together, not apart,
more resiliently.

Perhaps it is possible
to grow more robust 
as a distinguished part 
of All Souls,
combine resources,
economize cooperatively,
ecologize more holistically
and theologize more healthily
without losing Norwich UU tradition,
focus
mission,
effective
resonance,
green and black and brown and rainbow
resilience.

As for me,
I'm still looking at New London
real estate listings
while troubled about abandoning
a nomad's home
in which I never let myself fully invest

While dreaming of emigrating further south
downriver toward climatically rising water levels
unstill in my first five carbon-burning years
of retiring immigration.

Copyright © | Year Posted 2020




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