I haven’t been writing much lately. Not enough time. Not enough brain space. Sometimes one has to withdraw from the writing to engage in the life. Let’s call it a Lenten switchup. I’ll be back after Pascha, I’m sure.

But I have had great occasion recently to wonder with fear and trembling at the tremendous Cloud of People who make up my life. My Tribe. My Village.

Sometimes I think I capitalize too freely. I am an unabashed graduate of the Winnie the Pooh school of capitalization, and occasionally I overdo it. But not today. Today I am employing Pooh’s rhetorical prerogative very deliberately, and not without great and weighty sighs and groans of reflection.

Because The Tribe is so important. We don’t exist in a vacuum, and we weren’t built for solitude, no matter how introverted we are. We need other folks, even if we don’t need them in our faces all the time.

Please, not with the In My Face All The Time.

We need communion, and we need other humans (and critters, and green leafy friends, and old rocks and rich earth and flowing waters…) to show us that communion. To point us to God. The help us along.

So today I wonder at My Tribe.

Where did they come from?
How did I find them and convince them to love me?
How is it that they haven’t run the other way screaming yet?

The answers are all the same: I haven’t a clue.

And it is probably best.

Honestly, if I consciously knew how to attract other humans and somehow retain their presence in my life, I’m certain I’d find a way to release the four horsemen. There’d be some sort of cataclysmic backdraft and we’d all go up in flames. If it was up to me, I’d attract all the wrong sorts based on disjointed demographics and false and fantastical impressions. I’d create my own sad little universe, a writhing bundle of dysfunction.

Thankfully I’m not in charge of anything. I just get to ride out the mystery.

For now, I’ll be content to count my blessings sans too much analysis, and just stand in awe of the folks who stand next to me. I’ll take the mystery as a mystery, and focus on just being grateful.

M’buddy, Ash, with some of His Tribe. Sometimes all we have to do is hold a little space together.

For we are a motley crew.
But we are a motley crew with style.

Y’all rock.

Here’s to The Village that Holds On and Raises Me,

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