Community by way of Wind and Roof

September 5, 2010

The Disciples Volunteering tool trailer pulled in yesterday around 7am.  Folks unloaded and then gathered for breakfast.  When folk gather and begin the day together around a meal, it matters.  It matters in many ways, but for Disciples, when paid close attention, meals bring people together in deep community.  More than, “what are we doing today?” or “when will materials arrive?,” the meal leads folks to remembering the day is much more than tearing off a roof.  There is something generational about it, something about tying this community to that past community who first built the parsonage—future retreat house, something about tying this community to tomorrows community who will reroof again in twenty years, and something about tying this community that community of our children’s children when we are known as that “cloud of witnesses.”  Somewhere in that moment of breakfast, there is an indwelling of Creator which enriches and emboldens and leads folks up the basement steps to the sun, the roof, and the wind.

And the Wind had a bit to say yesterday.  By noon, a steady 15mph wind had gathered itself and blew down off the east slopes of the Cascade Range, through the trees, and over the roof.  About the time anyone got comfortable with dust in their eyes and the taste of 30 year-old shingles in their mouth, the wind would nudge the shoulder with a thirty-mile-per-hour gust and say, “remember, now, your ten or twelve feet off the ground and those little pebbles from yesterdays roofing makes it easy slide down a slope…I should know, I just slide off mountain slopes before I met you…”

So, folk listened to the wind and worked.  With roofing shovels, scaffolding, and gloves, roofing which had felt the winds nudge for over twenty-five years slide down one by eight sheathing cut from old growth trees some fifty-five years ago.  Some went directly into the dumpster and far too many to the outside—which meant roofing was handled a second time before it made it to the dumpster.  While folk worked on the roof, others were in the kitchen creating lunch and then supper.  Others who were not roof people worked and cleaned the Friendship house.  Together fourteen people transformed the landscape of the Mission.  And their muscles, as the sun settled down over the Cascades from which the wind came, reminded them of their dance with wind and roof.

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