Thursday, April 06, 2006

Sending off friends

Funny the different kinds of friendships that are formed from the desk of the church secretary. Such a variety of relationships grow and flourish on many different levels, all have distinct places in my heart.

There are people I know only by their email addresses, and others who I can identify through voice recognition alone. Some are familiar faces that routinely pass by my office with a quick glance.... again and again and again. Particular people pop in to grab a piece of bubblegum, or maybe they are called to the stress eze nut mix or the anti-oxident mixage and on occassion the password protected mixage. People can be identified by their footsteps, or their walking pace, as well. Many folks I only know by heart, not name.

My Pastor boss can easily be identified by the jingle of his door when he throws it open to search me out. I think his mind explodes with sparkling spontaneous thoughts, when he cloisters himself behind that pastor parlor door- wild thoughts that send him flying across the hall sputtering tasks or questions my way. He is a very energetic and creative sort, this man. He leaves a trail of gossamer behind him when he passes through any place. It's a very good thing.

We have an ongoing chuckle between us that I can sit behind my desk for hours, days, months, without ever being called to his attention, but invariably, the moment my toes cross the threshold of my office, he will simultaneously be in great need of my office skills and will call my name with intention- "Church Chick!!" Once, i heard his cry while I was visiting the second floor restroom. I am in tune with his tone now that I've worked with him for a while. We've tested the pattern before and it runs true. I may be in the kitchen, the copy room, the mail room, my other boss's office, or hanging outside my office window in search of respite, and bingo- I am the name of the hour. It's an honor to be needed, of course. In truth, it is just what it is- another serendipitious pleasant aspect of my job. oh- I'm weaving off the track a bit.... .....

We have a lovely group of warm bodies who have been on this earth a long time, and for this reason- among others- we call them grand. This group meets weekly to share the joy of long-lived friendships and good food. They take turns cooking, and they often times have a speaker. Last week, a group of fancy dancers came and kicked around a while. Once a year, they participate in a bells lesson and the building is filled with notes and rhythm.

I've grown accustomed to their grand patter and wheeling around. On occassion, they will take field trips. I was surprised to find that I felt a great sense of empty-nestness when they took a springtime trip recently. The building grieved the missing presence of my favorite tinkerbell friends.

I love those folks. They are the world in one room. They have lived many lives in many places. One woman wears unique necklaces, she brought me her collection for show and tell one day. kalediscopes, one inch in size, and in perfect working order. How magic is that?

Several of these special friends also volunteer at the front desk, and so they have become work peers. Many are very involved in committee work or other missions within the church - but they are all gifts. Every one of them, and I miss them when they are gone.

I find myself shifting into parent mode when they travel. I boarded the bus last trip and reminded them to behave. How silly is that? Well, if you knew this crew, you'd say 'not silly at all.' I spoke to the bus driver and told him to drive with all the care he carried in his soul and to bring them back in all their many pieces and parts. I must have used my "mom" voice, because he answered with a solemn 'Yes, Ma'am". Maybe I'll add mom to my list of titles in this job. or maybe not.

Today is a field trip day. sighhhhh. I passed out mints to ensure a more enjoyable venue for conversation in close quarters between friends on the bus. I told them to "NOT distract the driver, either." and to come back safely, " I mean it now, SAFE-LEE".

I trust that they will return with many a story to tell at next week's luncheon, but today, the halls will wilt with emptiness.


Leslee said...

Fun! We call our group Prime Timers and they make lunch on the frist Tuesday of the month. They are so fun!!

Sophia said...