Friday, 13 August 2010

Quaker Meeting in Battery Park

I have just come from an outdoor Meeting in Battery Park, on the southern tip of Manhattan Island. Seven of us sat in the Labyrinth of Contemplation (a scrubby area between two major roads, near the piers for the Staten Island Ferries) on park benches. No-one knew eachother, but there was a sense of familiarity. A light rain fell steadily through the meeting and there was some business with umbrellas. After a while the flies began to treat us like trees and landed on us freely. The bike hire place down at the waterside started to play tracks by The Rolling Stones, and there was a smell of camomile from the bushes. Somehow the gathered silence in the midst of all this was palpable. We were a few hundred yards from the site of the World Trade Buildings; a war monument to Korean soldiers was in front of us; what a challenge to integrate these things with the presence of God.

Shortly after, I was navigating Broadway after dark with my two kids, looking for somewhere to eat, and a young woman came up to us unbidden and went out of her way to show us a good place; turns out she used to live on Ecclesall Road.

(No moral intended; these two stories are not connected. Except that it felt like grace of some kind.)

1 comment:

Nadine Wills said...

Extraordinary. What a lovely day you seemed to have had and can't believe you met someone who used to live on Eccie Road. What a small world :-).