Under the Maple Canopy

Singing Union Songs Since 2009

Leaving and Finding


There’s something a bit off at first about leaving organized religion behind, or at least leaving behind the sort of faith that relies upon buildings and homogenized rituals.  At some point things get unbelievably expansive.  You’ve actually done it!  You’ve found extra time in the march of the calendar and it’s a bit like discovering a time machine or the fountain of youth.

It wasn’t until we had left church completely, and much of our childhood understandings of life and divine, that Sunday actually became a day to look forward to.  Granted, the husband very rarely has Sunday off, but when he does they become a treat.  Twenty-four hours of uninterrupted time to do nothing or watch football which to me seems to be just about the same thing.

You begin to replace hymns and praise songs with their predictable forms and rhythms with other things – the steam rising from a cup of tea, the mechanical, rhythmic hum of the washing machine, the fan blowing in the dehumidifier in the basement just around the corner.  In the fall, Sunday becomes marked by the cool breeze rustling through the trees and the lazy way the sun rises before setting early in the evening as if even it is tired after a long, hot summer.

Today is just such a day.  Late morning and grocery shopping in the relaxed sort of way only possible because everyone else is either still at home or in church.  Lunch together before heading off to do…anything.  Or nothing.  There’s space there and at times quiet when the kids head off to play on their own and in its ordinariness, it becomes sacred.  The voice of the divine becomes easier to hear and I finally know what it’s like to have a day of rest.

I’m reading Ellen Dugan’s “Autumn Equinox” and while looking at the cover, her subtitle struck me.  She writes about the “enchantment of Mabon” which I agree is a pretty notable thing.  For me, though, I think I’ve found an even more powerful enchantment.  The enchantment of Sunday.