moving, patriotism, and restlessness

What a weekend.

At church tonight (following the epic Canadian Men’s Hockey gold medal win) horns were blaring on King St. There were people in the streets running with flags, there was cheering and there was a LOT of honking. A Lot. I could barely focus on what the speaker at church was saying. People were going nuts in the street. It was pure celebration.

And then I got to thinking about moving. Matt and I helped a friend move this weekend–and it was great. I told Matt, having people help you move is a real outward display of love. When I moved in to our current apartment in Septemper 08, a bunch of friends helped me move…and paint, and lug really, really heavy couches up three flights of stairs. They gave up their saturday to do manual labour because they love me. And I was so honoured to have such great friends.

Yesterday when we helped our friend move, I felt privileged to be able to help—to be a part of such a big day for her. And frankly, I felt lucky to be able to be there and to soak in all of the love. What an example of people coming together to show someone they love them. Moving can be so holy.

So I thought a lot people coming together this weekend.

And then I got to thinking about the Olympics (of course). I wrote here about the complicated politics of the Olympics here and while I still have many of the same feelings about the games now that we’re at the end of the 17 days, I have some new thoughts.

Patriotism is a bit strange. Especially considering the country you’re born is really 100% out of one’s control (of course if you have the means you can always migrate to another country, but still…) But tonight as Canadian flags waved and horns honked in EVERY crook and cranny of this great nation, I couldn’t help but get caught up. Yes, being a Canadian is a wonderful thing. But do you know what’s more wonderful? People coming together. In this case, over the Olympic games; over sport. But it can be said about anything that brings people together…like having your friends help you move.

It’s the stories that made the Olympics so powerful, so moving, isn’t it? It’s the stories of comebacks, of tragedy, of great sacrifice of unexpected victory, stories of enemies that became partners, and of the split second where it was all lost. The Olympics, in our own country have given us permission to feel. Somedays it was joy and others sadness and of course the daily frustration of the CONSTANT “i believe” song –not to mention those AWFUL talking car commercials.

There is  something so moving about experiencing anything with people- happy or sad. That’s why we gather to celebrate births, mourn deaths and  even to share meals. Things done in community are just plain better.

Last night after a really great dinner a bunch of us we’re drinking some wine and eating some pie at Steve’s place. We got into a crazy discussion about faith and life and whatnot. Steve said one thing that really resonated with me. He said that wer’e all restless…that there’s a longing in all of us for wholeness, for completion for consummation. We walk around through all our days knowing that something is missing–that something isn’t right. We feel lost that we can’t control the future. We feel lost that we can’t control ourselves.

And I think in coming together, in shared experiences, we see tastes of life beyond restlessness, that brokenness. For a moment, we’re able to see what it’s like to feel 100% present. And that is what has made the Olympics so inspiring for me, I think. It’s about connectedness–about celebrating with people we’ll likely never meet. It’s about feeling something. Anything.

As people cheered and honked and just celebrated in the streets tonight, I kept thinking that this is a taste of life’s goodness–of oneness. Tonight it was a patriotic celebration but it gave me hope for an even greater celebration based on something deeper and more inalienable than citizenship…based on humanity, on love.

Or something like that.


2 thoughts on “moving, patriotism, and restlessness

  1. All day yesterday, I kept thinking the same thing – the visible love and beautiful community was almost overwhelming at times.
    Thank you for sharing your Saturday to lug heavy boxes and unpack my kitchen – it was so good to share the day with you.

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