Friday, May 1, 2009

A PTS Reunion

Princeton, New Jersey looks like a make-believe town. I never felt this way when I lived there, but when I return to visit, I usually can’t put my finger on it exactly, but it feels strange. Today as I walked along one sidewalk lined with quaint stone colonial homes and picture-perfect dogwoods and cherry trees, I decided, “This place doesn’t feel real.” Princeton is an idyllic place filled with well-groomed yards, towering deciduous trees, smartly dressed intellectuals with book-bags in tow, and gobs of families parading on foot toward their favorite cafe on Saturday mornings. I was in a consignment shop with my friends Becky and Emily and laughed when I heard Bob Marley singing about resistance on the sound system overhead. Seemed rather inconsistent with the locale.

I returned to Princeton last night for a mini-reunion of good friends from seminary. We ate and drank on the Roberts and Tennent lawn with a few rousing games of “stick” and delighted in all kinds of nerdy and more meaningful conversations. It felt good to be with these old friends, but I was reminded that time has a way of distancing us from special seasons of life whether we like it or not. Our gathering brought friends from as far as Seattle, Chicago, Glasgow, and a small town in Texas whose name escapes me at the moment. It was fun to see Eric and David and reminisce about working with the junior high kids at a Presby church in Montclair.

It was good to drink some sangria with pals who are now pursuing PhD’s and ministering in churches (weird how many pastors I know) – the same people with whom I cursed summer Hebrew and played flag football.

And now I will return to New York City. I am tired. I helped host a delegation of 5 from Zimbabwe last week, but hosting can be taxing. I was in charge of rounding up appropriate gifts for our visitors and accompany them on excursions around the city. It was interesting to begin to learn some of the differences between Zambian and Zimbabwean culture and some of the subtle similarities made me miss living in Kitwe where chitenge and dancing and bartering and sunshine are typical fare.

I get a couple of weeks off in June and I am ready for a break. Will go home and be with the fam, which will be fun. My dad is already planning a fishing trip and perhaps a day at the beach. Sounds good to me. I’m going to find some delicious books to read and lay around with my nephews (unless they insist on trips to the pool or the library or t-ball or something).

Happy RAINY Friday!

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