Last week was the hundred-somethingth annual session of Northwest Yearly Meeting. My knowledge of the number of times our yearly meeting has gathered may tell you the amount I was able to participate. Things like broken water mains and fussy children and upset tummies and life in general just seem to get in the way. Yes, there was childcare, but I liked the folks in there too much to drop off a “I’m one and trying out my terrible twos a little early just to warm up to them” son. Instead, I watched (some of) the evening sessions online thanks to my hubby and my hubby’s coworker’s streaming computer and my hubby’s other coworker’s camera that streamed to the computer that came over the fiber optics that entered into my computer that drowned out the sound of the “Mega Truck Adventures” playing on the tv. I also read lots of Facebook statusi regarding the challenging, encouraging words Tony Campolo shared.
One day my dad and I carpooled to campus to go to our respective meetings while my gracious mother was watching the boys.
Dad: “So, you’ll meet me back at the car?”
Me: “What time are you meeting with your group?”
Me: “Why don’t you just go back home when you’re done? Then I’ll meet up with Jason and we can get food and take it home.”
Dad: “I thought the reason we carpooled was so that your mother have a car to bring into town with the boys to meet us for dinner.”
Me: “Oh, yeah.”
Dad (insert exasperated face): “What do you want me to do?” (my mother, and brother, and potentially Dad’s coworkers will recognize that face and tone :D).
Me: “Well, yeah. I guess I’ll just meet you at the car!”
Me calling Jason: “Okay, so I’m here and going to my meeting.”
Me: “Mom’s home with the boys. Dad and I carpooled so that Mom can come into town with the boys and we can go out to eat. But I was thinking we should just take food home.”
Me, distracted looking at the enormous tree laying down in the middle of campus with all the caution tape draped around it: “So why don’t you meet me when your meeting’s done outside of my meeting’s room. We tend to run over.”
Jason: “Okay. Where are you?”
Me: “EHS 102. The Lecture Hall. You know, the same room that the Board of Evangelism met in for years and years.”
Me: “Yeah, way to break the ties with that old board, eh?” (The Board of Local Outreach, or BOLO, oversees many of the areas that the BoE oversaw. But they *aren’t* the same board. Nope, not at all).
Me, hustling over to Dad’s car, parked way in the boonies (and for anyone who wonders, the boonies are located in the Ross parking lot on the farthest parking row a number of spaces back from the building, because my meeting went over): “Hey Dad, been waiting long?”
Me: “So I called Mom and said we’d just bring dinner home so she doesn’t have to load up the boys. What do you want?”
Me: “Okay, let’s go to the restaurant to order.”
Dad: “So I have a question for you: is the symbol for the Yearly Meeting a tree?”
Me: “Uh, yeah, I think so. I know they have a new graphic. Jason would know; he does all that website stuff.”
Dad: “Okay. So now I have another question for you: did you see that big tree that fell over in the middle of campus?”
Me: “Yeah, I was thinking how doofy that was of Plant Services to take that down in the middle of Yearly Meeting. I mean, hello: people all around!”
Dad: “Did you know that it fell down? In the middle of a business meeting?”
Me: “No, I had no idea.”
Dad: “So, I read this book a little while back called, ‘If This Were A Dream, What Would It Mean?‘ talking about how when strange events happen in our dreams, we oftentimes will accredit that to God speaking to us. But what about strange events happening in waking life? We usually disregard that. But if we pay attention to the symbols, if we ask the question, maybe we’ll recognize that God’s speaking to us.”
Dad: “So, a tree falls in the middle of the business meeting: not just *falls*, but splits in two with half still standing. The Yearly Meeting’s symbol is a tree. If this were a dream, what would it mean?”
Me: “Uh, my writing/lit mind has a few ideas, but I’m not sure. (And I didn’t say it, but I was scared to answer, because it might reveal my inferior mortal conclusions). Do you?
Dad: “I don’t know. I’m just asking the question!”
Me: “Well, I should probably call Jason and ask him what he wants for dinner first.”
Me, calling: “Hey, we’re getting Mexican. What do you want?”
Jason: “You must’ve gotten out early.”
Me: “Nope, ran long. Why?”
Jason: “Well, I didn’t see you come out.”
Me: “You were there? Oh, yeah . . . .”
(I hope there’s not a message from the Spirit in that . . . ) 🙂
So, what do you think about my dad’s question? If that were a dream, what would it mean?