As I made my way up through Greensboro and Liz jettisoned from the event horizon that is Atlanta, I was looking forward to two things.
First, spending a little time with some wonderful folks along the way. The Rev. Claudia Frost was someone I originally met when she first came up for the Mountain School for Congregational Leadership as a very advanced participant. She was immediately identified as someone who should be on faculty which gave us a chance to work together. She is bright, funny, sincere and infinitely pastoral. She now serves the Universalist Fellowship at Outlaws Bridge. She is married to David Frost, who works as an oral surgeon and serves on the Board of our UU School for the ministry at Meadville Lombard. David is one of those people whose insight and intelligence is only overshadowed by his temperance, curiosity and openness. Often times, when I’ve come across people who have had such strong vision and clarity and leadership, it is hard for those characteristics not to dominate or overwhelm conversations. But both David and Claudia have the capacity to present themselves in an invitational and gracious way, making it a joy to spend time with them.
But seeing them after many years was only part of the reunion. Seeing Blondie walk out of the car and saunter around the humid enviorons of Chapel Hill was very welcome. There is very little that can describe the joy that a faithful, fuzzy, friend can instantly bring upon seeing her – especially when you know it required her to go through a maze of airport security, travelling overnight in a scary cargo compartment of a plane and then squeezing herself into the back section of our Fit for a drive through South and North Carolina. Blondie – even though she is approaching 15 and has advanced cancer of almost everything (she’s getting to be quite lumpy) has not lost one iota of her countenance that eminates love and goodness and appreciation and joy. With just minimal expressions, she can offer some of the most reliable feedback on the current attitude and approach to life. She is part Corgie and part Chow and she has the power to tune into the emotions around her like no living thing I’ve ever seen. I believe that if we had a little bit of the emotional attunement and resiliency of dogs, the world would be a much better place.