Halfway there! What's left, today, of the end of my third decade?
Not my legal career, although it was my major focus during those years.
Birds, yes ~ although not with the intensity in which I invested most of my free time in those years in which I became completely enthralled with all things avian. My husband and I did some backpacking in that time period, and became intent on birding as an alternative to endless groaning about sore muscles and blistered feet. My friend Cindy, in Alaska this week, reported seeing a varied thrush, something I remember from our week in the backcountry of Glacier National Park. We went to southwestern Arizona almost entirely for the birding, we covered our own Great Lakes region extensively, and we had a lot of fun birding with my grandparents in Florida each spring.
RELIGION ~ there it is. I think I was 29 when I impulsively announced one morning that we should find a church, which we accomplished by watching a few services on local cable tv, so that we wouldn't have to visit in person without some sense of what we were getting into. Within a couple of months I was baptized, confirmed, and attending church every Sunday. I basically had no idea what any of the words I'd said to get there really meant, and I had no idea what belonging to a church community meant, either. (Remember, almost all my experience of religion was in boarding schools, and more academic than anything else.) Considering the developments of the next three decades, this little glitch in my history makes me extremely laid back about any kind of way someone wants to come into the church. I am kind of obnoxiously traditional about certain aspects of church life, but as far as barriers to entrance or participation ~ no, I really can't promote any of those.
Which reminds me: there's been an article making the rounds the past week or so about how churches desiring to attract young people shouldn't go out of their way to become all cool and hip. Indeed. I know that everyone finds his or her own way in but: at 29, a person divided between high heels in a downtown legal office and muddy boots out in the birding field, a person whose musical tastes were also evenly divided between rock 'n roll and the Cleveland Orchestra, there was no way I would have walked into a church unless it looked like this, with music and preaching to match:
This is in fact, an old photo of our UMC Church of the Savior in Cleveland Heights.
I wasn't looking for a cozy, intimate family church. I wasn't looking for potluck dinners ~ I didn't actually know about potluck dinners (although it turned out that we were to go to plenty of them). I did want to find some people interested in the same social justice issues that I was interested in, and my personal history told me that they might be found in a church.
But mostly, I was on the trail of the mystery of God. I just didn't know it yet.