I’ve been taking a little break from Wedding Things for the past week to move house. It’s been an unexpectedly emotional time. I’ve been living in a commune with a crazy bunch of amazing people and though being the oldest person in the house with the biggest boundary issues, it wasn’t always a party… or rather it was, but I was trying to sleep. I think to some extent I was the mom in the house and often the complaining one who would refuse to cook dinner and serve take-out on my turn, because the kitchen was too messy. I wish I could be classified as the “neat one”but my room was by far the most disorganised.
Alas, the good-byes came with a lot of choked-back tears as we sat down for our final shared dinner. We each spent time affirming each other, speaking words of gratitude and sharing happy memories which quickly escalated into us throwing Tosca’s long-suffering coffee table in the fire-pit before setting it alight. We all stood around the 3m flames in our garden staring into the light as the extended colony of frogs squawked and clicked in symphony somewhere in the dark night…It was the coffee table we played Risk on, the coffee table that held snacks, cups of coffee and feet as we watched movies on apple TV, the coffee table that was often decked in pages of worship songs when the house would pray together. This poor wonky pallet table was the centre-piece of our community.
I am so grateful for the sadness. I know I really fell in love with each of the specially chosen people I shared 2016 with. On our last night in the house it was somehow eerily quiet. It felt unnatural as I packed up my room through the night, until I was surprised at midnight with cake for my birthday…and that is how I was loved this year. In my darkest and ugliest moments someone would pop a note under my door or leave me a care package when I was sick. Tosca would spoil us with cupcakes if she left for the weekend. We all got a little chubbier round winter and Stephan took me geocaching the day my grandfather died. James, if he wasn’t egging me on to be on his online channel, would leave mystery Kitkats on my bed and it took me months to learn who my benefactor was. Jaco, in his eternally wise way, would always have a testimony to share whenever I needed it most, and we all know he was praying for each of us without ever broadcasting it. These people who saw so many of my worsts loved me so consistently, even if they were also imperfect.
I was told, by a wise friend, that God would achieve more with me in a shorter time if I lived in community, and I can put money on that after this year. I am a richer, fuller and more whole person through the breaking of my persistent pride. It honestly sucked the last time we drove away from Florida 7. I will miss you, my comrades. In all of your parts with no regrets apart from the times I wouldn’t open up to you. Long live the DPRF.