Mason … August 13, 2012

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I went on a journey, or perhaps better stated, an odyssey. (Only a boorish, sanctimonious wordsmith would ponder the difference). Although my odometer only registered twenty-one miles, it seemed I had traveled much further. Was it backwards, forwards or sideways (whatever that means…)? No, it was more enduring–a persevering place of purpose.

They call it Mason. There I met a family which decided to work together for my good instead of using the sanctioned beauty of the union of people to sit on their island and throw coconuts across the pond at strangers. I was in a town among people who were living with their circumstances and abiding with their possibilities instead of acting over-perplexed or disheartened. There were children singing, adequately nervous over being in front of the community, as they offered their voices, ringing out in praise to something still beyond their comprehension. There was an audience of human beings looking for a reason to applaud instead of sitting on their hands, stubbornly refusing to respond to the beauty around them. There was excitement over money collected in small tin cans by tiny tots, to buy mosquito nets to prevent malaria in other young children a world away. The proceedings were gentle, possessing some purpose, but comically infused with a sweet clumsiness. Fire hats were used to tell stories of gospel truth, to try to pass on information to children who fidgeted at the notion of paying attention. Greetings of “peace” that possessed a warmth and tenderness instead of being over-complicated by duty and presumed religious significance.

And then, a kind introduction. A welcoming. Permission for the two of us to offer our sacrifice of praise and initiate the calling of our hearts. Good cheer. Five loaves and two fishes put to good purpose. Time–the relentless master. The Rose. Concluding with the holy concept of “NoOne is better than anyone else.”

And then the overwhelming joy of being face-to-face, celebrating stories of grandchildren, admissions of revelation, courtesy–and just enough rejection to confirm that the message given was divine and not prepared to please.

People lined up to buy t-shirts identifying them as comrades-in-arms. Laughter. Children running through a hall of fellowship without fear or correction, in wild abandon. Cookies offered as nutritional snacks without apology.

Stranger in a strange land … without feeling strange.

And then–packed away, preparing to exit, when the shepherd appeared, offering his card and promise that if I ever needed anything, I was invited to return and sample similar hospitality.

I drove away, wondering. If I circled the globe and returned to this same spot, would Mason still be there? Would it remain the little burg suspended in animation, living out its own dream instead of absorbing the poison around it? I decided that such an escapade, even if it was “around the world in eighty days,” was unnecessary.

As long as I was willing to take a portion of the people and the environment with me, it might be possible to plant the seeds of such an adventure and a delight everywhere I went.

Yes, perhaps that was the significance of my odyssey–to take seedlings of the spirit of Mason … and scatter them everywhere I go.

The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity

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