Written By: Charles - Feb• 12•23

Imbolc and the Valentine Moon

Sunday gratefuls: An open heart. The joy that sits next to sadness. Tu BiShvat. The new year of the trees. Luke. Leo. Those construction folks. The one from Texas. The bald guy and the old man. Zoom. Manna. The Red Sea as birth imagery. The sabbath. Judaism. Mary back in the frozen tundra. Sayonara, Kobe. Mark in OKC. Kep. Kate, always Kate. Early rising. Pappadeaux’s with Ruth and Gabe tonight. A Cajun 76th birthday meal.

Sparks of Joy and Awe: Feelings


On Friday night I drove into Lakewood for dinner with Luke, the former Executive Director of Congregation Beth Evergreen. He’s a good friend. When I copied his address I added an S in front of Ames St. That gave me the opportunity to see more of Lakewood than I intended. Sheridan runs north and south through Lakewood and I accessed it off of Hwy 285, turning north. The city limit between Denver and Lakewood.

The west side of Denver is heavily Latino as is the east side of Lakewood. The houses are small. The lots close together. Pickup trucks in most driveways. Spanish a second and often first language on storefronts. This was around 4 pm and Sheridan had the full city traffic experience to offer. Blinking turn signals, horns, and about halfway to Luke’s a huge red metal Mexican guitar on a sign that said Westwood. On the Denver side.

Luke had called and warned me of logistical issues. True. A new gas main project had a trench dug for seven blocks, including his. At one point I needed to make a left turn onto Colfax, old highway 40, and a main thoroughfare through Denver and beyond.

I was having no luck and just contemplating a right hand turn, then crossing three lanes of traffic so I could make a u-turn later. A bald headed guy came from behind me and said, “Wait, old man.” He got out into traffic and tried to create a space for me so I could cross the stopped traffic. A guy in a white pickup refused to back up the 6 feet or so I needed. Don’t know why.

Finally got Ruby’s nose in, wiggled her through, and the bald guy stood in the oncoming lane with his hand out stopping cars so I could turn. Gratitude. Although. Old man? I mean, how he did know I turn 76 on Tuesday?

Took me a while even after that to get to Luke’s and when I did I had to park on one side of the trench. And walk over it. The construction workers were gracious, kind and guided me through.

Dinner with Luke, who’s Italian, was eggplant Parmesan. His favorite food since 5th grade. I brought Italian bread and a salad. Leo, his mostly German Shepherd dog, is ten years old and as sweet a dog as you could wish for.

Luke had a tough exit from CBE. We talked about that and what he plans going forward. He may have found a very well paying part time gig with Judaism Your Way, another reconstructionist effort in South Denver. No synagogue. Gatherings for holidays at Denver’s Botanical Gardens. Not sure what else.

His path since leaving the Materials Science Ph.D at Colorado School of Mines has found him doing computer work for a non-profit, converting to Judaism, becoming CBE’s executive director, and now perhaps turning toward Tarot and Astrology to round out his income. Things, he said, I love.

After dinner he pulled three cards from the Druid Oracle deck: Mint, Woad, and a Hawk. We discussed my sadness and the way forward in light of those cards. Encouraged and supported by him and by his reading.

He walked me to the gate. We hugged, said I love you, and I went back across the trench.

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