Many years ago, perhaps in a land before time, we lived in a small town in western New York state. It was during our five year stay in Dansville that our good friend and pastor decided to form a "social" group composed of young couples in the church. The group dubbed themselves the "Common" and enjoyed many a meal and outing together.
However, we soon learned that the good Reverend had more than one definition for the word "social." Over the course of time he crafted our Common souls and expanded our social conscience. In addition to family picnics and progressive dinners, we visited the sick at heart, hosted an Egyptian missionary, accepted leadership roles we really didn't want, and learned to look beyond ourselves. He drew us in with the promise of fellowship and set us on our separate paths with a moral sense of purpose.
Last weekend the Common held a reunion of sorts. We came together on the pretense of celebrating a birthday (happy birthday Jerry), but it was far more than that. It was a time for fanning the flames of friendship that time and distance had reduced to glowing embers.
Old stories were told, old photos shared. Some of us found it difficult recognizing our younger, slimmer selves. Some of us looked exactly the same, and that's no easy feat at our age.
Unfortunately Irene took aim on the north east and one of our number was called home to help man the command center for the company who provides power for Washington D.C.
In our heads we know that your work is important. But from the heart, let me just say, things weren't the same without you two.
We all felt like this watching them drive away after only a few short hours.
The arrival of a couple of late comers helped ease the pain and soon the reminiscing was back in full swing.
In spite of Irene swirling around outside, the sun was shining brightly on the inside.
I was reminded that in the late 1970s we were all just common folk in a common town attending a common church. What evolved was nothing common at all.
In fact, it was most uncommon.