Skip to main content

Summer Past, Part 2

By Belinda

To continue with the story of our visit to MCC...

Brenda was home alone that Sunday in mid July, so I invited her to come too, with Susan and I, to the ceremony during which our friends Dave and Joe would be honoured. 

We all set out early for the 11 o'clock service on Simpson Avenue in downtown Toronto; prepared for traffic and leaving time to find a parking space. It turned out that the traffic was surprisingly light, and we drove without a pause, to the church. 

I saw Dave and Joe making their way to the church, and Joe waving us to drive around the streets to find a parking spot, since there is none at the church. But almost immediately we found a spot, right outside the church. Susan got out to check for "no parking signs," and finding none, we considered the spot ours!

The old tree lined street was full of people making their way to the church on foot and I noticed how many of them were men. 

Dave was surrounded by an entourage that included a striking, dark haired young woman. It took me a few minutes to realize that this was Shan, of the blog Half Soled Boots, and Dave and Joe's niece; in the flesh! We hugged and laughed for joy at finally meeting after knowing one another electronically for so long. 


Little Ruby and Sadie hovered around Dave like pretty butterflies, drawn by kindness, love and wisdom instead of flowers.

We were early, and we filled the long, old, pews of dark polished wood around Dave and Joe, with a hustle and bustle, arranging ourselves as best fitted. And then I began to observe and absorb.

The heat was intense and the humidity oppressive--at least 33 degrees, and no air conditioning in the old and stately building, but Reverend Brent Hawkes exhorted the congregation to use the vertical fans that had been provided to each of us--"It's called the program," he said, to a ripple of laughter.


I noticed a group of men and women gathering near the front in a huddle, all wearing t shirts in various shades of aqua, blue and turquoise and leaned over to comment to Shan on how coordinated everyone looked, when I realized that they were the choir, about to have a final practice before the service!



Gradually the empty pews filled up around us and the murmur of voices grew quieter as people settled and prepared for the service to start.

Rev. Hawkes mentioned the fact that the service would, as usual, be filmed, but that those who wished not to be on camera, could use the balconies.

I leaned over to Shan and commented that I felt goosebumps as I looked around me. When she asked why, I said, knowing as I said it that it was af generalization, that as I looked around, I sensed that everyone there had a story to tell of pain and rejection such as we could not imagine. The fact that people gathered to worship with others of the same sexual orientation, could have meant that there are other places where they are not welcome but I sensed and saw, community and caring being demonstrated all around me. 

 To be continued...

Comments

Thank you for writing these memories, as they are memories for me as well. And yes, there are many stories there, and the welcome is 'intentional' and 'purposeful.' I'm loving your journey through the day.
Belinda said…
I'm glad it brings back the day for you, Dave. That day gave me so much to think about.

Popular posts from this blog

Just Joy!

Our family has a standing date for Sunday dinner on the first Sunday of every month. Not that we don't see each other at any other time, but we all know that particular Sunday is pretty much for sure--and I look forward to it so much--the front door bursting open and our house being filled once more with the voices and vibrancy of six grandchildren and their parents. 

This week Spero, Brenda's new Australian Shepherd puppy came too, and met his extended family, leaving Molson at home to have a rest! He was duly adored by all of us.


He came with a dazzling array of toys and is proving a fast learner, already sitting on command and responding to Tori's training. I was so impressed at her technique of quickly rewarding a turnaround from any slight naughtiness with praise for "good sitting," or "good" any other desirable behaviour! 

Tippy had her hair cut stunningly and bravely short the day before; making a statement about who she is as a unique individual, o…

The Secret Adventures of Susan's Scottish Scarf

By Belinda (with a lot of help from Susan :))
I was saying goodnight to her at the front door this week when she told me. There was apparently more to the scarf around her neck than I knew. 
The scarf had been a gift from me for Susan's birthday on Tuesday December 18th. It had been her 60th; and that day I had treated her to lunch to celebrate. 
We met at a tiny restaurant, Port Soiree, in Schomberg,near her office. It was a restaurant neither of us had been to before and it turned out to be a gem, with artsy ambiance, amazing food, wonderful service and modest pricing. In other words, it was perfect!