Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I "worked" away from home for about eight hours today. My first appointment was meeting with a possible intern for the Night Shelter at the university with a couple of other Night Shelter people. I went on to spend time at St John Ambulance, the brewery, fire stations and the Night Shelter. At each place I experienced conversation, friendship, and warmth.  As I drove home I began to think "that was a long day for a retired guy." But as I looked back on the day I felt privileged. At the fire stations I had two sorts of conversations.  I had long conversations with some firefighters I had known for 21 years. There was quiet familiarity, old stories and an openness between us. For example one of the conversations the man talked about his daughter's choice of secondary school. When she was a much welcomed newborn baby I conducted a naming ceremony for her celebrating her birth with their family and friends.  Secondly I enjoyed acceptance and growing inclusiveness by young fire fighters.  I had wondered if the new younger firefighters would accept this parson wandering around.  But I am growing more and more confident of their acceptance. They greet me with warmth and friendship. I am relieved. At St John and the brewery there were similar links and conversations. As I came home, lit the fire and started thinking about the evening meal, I felt tired but deeply, deeply privileged.  I am a very fortunate man. In the journey of life there is something sacred about conversations among friends. 

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