This is my Camino. Welcome.

These beautiful moment no. 4 | the improptu picnic


The beginning of this needs to be the beginning, otherwise, indeed, I just happened to throw another event and take a photo and, really, you could look anywhere on the internet to find more inspiring food or boy-scout approved bonfires or backyards better-weeded than mine (at the moment. cough).

The beginning is that: antsy-me still flutters with a restless-heart, all last-week, all-last-few-weeks, all spring.

The continuation is that: thankfully, I’ve tried relatively steadily (but grant me grace, Lord) to incorporate longer prayer-time since that retreat in April with Father Ryan. And on Friday night I sat under the yellow-light of the stained-glass lamp my mom bought years ago and flipped through the Bible, my journal, the Pope’s latest Apostolic Exhortation, and the tourist-style-rosary handed to me in the chapel by someone who probably bought them on a pilgrimage somewhere, but I don’t know for certain…still, it was a nice gift.

Point is, I’ve started praying more like how I exercise: every day’s excursion can look different, as long as I’m putting in time and sweating.

Cue again the rotation of prayers and books and beads on Friday.

My plans for Saturday seemed to be dissolved. I had plans, but, upon reflection, they weren’t the healthiest, so I was still deciding what to do as I prayed too-late in the evening. (Yeah, maybe I could have been praying about other things…and maybe I was…but God can hear about my Saturday nights, why not?)

And, it occurred to me: I should throw a party. On Saturday. Hours from the moment. And I would invite my friends and we would eat fresh, summer-produce food. Sunday, I remembered, was the Feast of St. Vitus, my obscure (but awesome!!) patron saint for the year and, dagnabbit, I needed me a party.

I stood up to email and Facebook this newly-minted idea to my friends, reminded myself it was super late, instructed myself to go to bed and that I’d continue with said-plan in the morning.

So, I did.

I woke up and texted those whose numbers I had, Facebooked those whose numbers I didn’t have, and set out to the Farmer’s Market with some fresh bills and unwashed hair.

My parents came, too.
My parents came, too.

I bought: dill, cilantro, avocados, tomatoes, parsley, asparagus, leeks…and lemon balm for the mosquitoes.
I washed: the guinea pig cages, the bathroom, the vegetables as I prepared them.
I answered texts and played songs, swept the patio, planted the lemon balm, made brownies and salads and quiches with love.

There’s nothing like a party to force you to pull it together a bit, right?

And fifteen minutes before everyone arrived, I showered. (But I still didn’t wash my hair–FULL DISCLOSURE. It was gross).

At first there were those moments of, “Wait, who is everyone?” (because I invite across-circles) but then: good food and the coolest people and summer set in and: exhale.

New friends!

AND OLD FRIENDS! Because Lauren stopped by–surprise visitors!!

And we eventually built a bonfire and everyone settled around and I had them pull out the poems and books they’d brought and we went around the circle and talked art and inspiration and wonder-filled descriptions sitting around flames.

Because of the beautiful variety demonstrated throughout humanity, the art each elected to bring was decidedly diverse as well. This one would read prose, then that one deep humor, then that one a love poem, then that one held us enraptured with word-painted pictures, then we were even fortunate enough when a gutsy-one shared his own work.

All around a fire, cool-but-humid (it’s Michigan, ya’ll), and friends and art.


My sister talked about hearing a message where they said adults only have about 16 minutes of meaningful conversation per week. What a shame, eh?

But, that night, we all had more than sixteen.

What grace. 🙂


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