I've kept this blog, on and off, since 2006. In 2015 I used it to chart daily encounters, images, thoughts and feelings about volcanic basalt/bluestone in Melbourne and Victoria, especially in the first part of the year. I plan to write a book provisionally titled Bluestone: An Emotional History, about human uses of and feelings for bluestone. But I am also working on quite a few other projects and a big grant application, especially now I am on research leave. I'm working mostly from home, then, for six months, and will need online sociability for company!

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Year with Bluestone: Three Churches

Last week,  we went to my parents' new church. They moved from Grovedale to Northcote a year ago, and soon found a ready welcome at this church. It is a composite. There was originally a bluestone church, but when this became too small, a brick one was built next door, without knocking over the bluestone one. Then, as these things happen, the congregation diminished, while another church half a suburb away was growing in numbers, but without having a suitable building. So one Palm Sunday in  2005, the congregation from the smaller building literally walked together into this brick church and the two congregations merged. It's a very active community.

We went to a special service to celebrate the 60th year of my father's ordination as a minister. The service was one of thanksgiving and celebration. People spoke briefly and well. My father spoke a little about leaving school very young to go and work on the farm with his father and brothers, but then being accepted into ministry training, and then going back to finish high school at evening college, and then going to university. But mostly he spoke about my mother (who is facing some long term health difficulties now). Here he is, more or less I think at the age he and my mother met, when she was doing her deaconess training.

And here he is, making his lovely acceptance speech. 

It was followed by what can only be described as a magnificent afternoon tea. To describe all the food would be impossible, but every delicious thing you would expect at a church tea was there. I was particularly impressed by real hot tea and plunger coffee, and then the way the committee members would subtly rationalise the groaning tables as people emptied the plates and started to leave. So first there were two large rectangular tables, and then there was one in the middle of the room, and then there was but a square table; and all the plates were magically kept looking full and fresh. This is just the very last little tableful...

So I have veered a little from bluestone. But what struck me so deeply, on this important day for him, was my father being so attentive to my mother, and remembering my bluestone project, and reminding me to get out and take photographs.

1 comment:

Jeffrey Cohen said...

This post made my evening -- containing some of my favorite things (stones, communities) and people (you, your mom and dad). What a great day it must have been! And congratulations to your father. The picture of him when he was younger is so unmistakably him ...