Under the Lilac Tree

lilac dinning

“In this house, everyday is a party!”

Sometimes, things are so good I start saying things like this in my head, even though I know it isn’t technically true. I read somewhere that this is a Scorpio trait –this mild schizophrenia. Who knows? Anyway…last night at Monkfish Abbey we had dinner in the back yard. It was unseasonably warm, and that spring-fever vibe was in the air. I’d just rescued two old kitchen chairs from one of those side-of-the-road furniture piles, and was completely obsessed with gathering up six of them and recovering the seats with retro-patterned fabric. I’d managed to get the first two covered and was determined to launch our new outdoor dinning chairs on thier maiden voyage. Souren was fortuitiously hanging around being bored, so I conscripted him and Eden to helped me move all our tables and chairs outside. Helene made seasoned Dahl, roasted tomatoes, and chicken pate with crusty bread. We all dined under the lilac tree. Yes, under the lilac tree…could it be any better?! Earlier in the day the girls and I had run over to Fred Meyer and bought the cheapest outdoor fire ring available. Souren and Paul did the caveman thing — “Me man. Me make fire!” — and we added s’mores to our embarassment of riches. In a perfectly serendipitious moment, all of the MiniMonks were with last night, so the five of ‘em tore around the back yard sword figthing with bamboo sticks. This allowed the adults to have cocktails and actual grown up conversations.

Sometimes, life is ridiculously good.

After dinner and dessert the monks came inside to decorate some candles for the Powerhouse blessing tonight. In my mind’s eye I saw these arty things wrapped in sunset colors and dripping with tiny imported silver bells. In reality they turned out a little wedding-ish — like something bridesmaids might carry while lock-stepping down the aisle. Jen R. mentioned that they would be more “Fremonty” if we all just took off our clothes…or if we at least stuck them in our clevage. The women roared uproarously, but I pretty sure we ran the men out of the room. (Sorry fellas.)

I was so jazzed by the goodness of the evening that I had a hard time sleeping last night. When I woke up this morning to sticky barbeque skewers and a floor covered with colored feathers and scraps of ribbon I did not even care.

Bag of marshmellows….$3.
Fire pit ring for the backyard…$70
Living in Community…Priceless.

Okay, I’ll stop being anonyingly sentimental now. Love to you all.

The Urban Abbess

p.s. Jenny-love, you should have been here. Are you SURE you can’t rip your family out of their Silver Spring moorings and move out here to Seattle?

5 Responses to “Under the Lilac Tree”

  1. Jen Payne Says:

    And it was oh so delightful. A soul feeding night. Thank you for your extra efforts in creating some magic.

  2. jen lemen Says:

    oh, i’m on my way!!!
    we just bought a fire ring, too! (target, $70!) i cannot think of anything better in the whole world than dining under a lilac tree. truly.

    all my love. how about a writers conference in portland in august??

  3. Heather Says:

    “Jazzed by the goodness” - sounds like a good name for a poem :-) . Or a book.

    I think I wanna get me one o’ them fire rings! Fortunately, we live close enough to the in-laws who live in the country and have a big fire pit perfect for bonfires.

  4. Heather Says:

    Oh, by the way… I meant to tell you, I quoted you in church on Sunday. Something you said about ‘transformational theology’ and how your group left the traditional church because ’striking a pose’ wasn’t satisfying enough. I hope you don’t mind. :-) It was for a talk I did on ‘the 5 reasons I’m still a christian even though it sucks sometimes’.

    I just thought you might like to know that your wisdom is floating around - even up here in Canada. Time to write that book!

  5. Magpie Girl » Blog Archive » Yoga Poses for Mama Earth Says:

    […] We’ve had various kinds of celebrations for Spring over the years. But I have always hoped to have a gathering for May Day—or what the Celts call Beltane—in celebration of the good earth. In my dreamy gathering we could stand on some patch of soft ground and use our bodies to say ‘thank you’ to Mama and to give her some honor. […]