On Thursday I went to Wellington for a day long meeting of the Bishops. We sat in one of those soulless airport conference rooms and talked through matters which some people think are important enough to leave the church over.
Friday was a day of conversations, some of them fraught, then an afternoon frantically preparing our little house for an influx of visitors. And on Saturday, Ada was one.
On Sunday I had a confirmation in All Saints, North Dunedin, where even with the movement and colour of the service, experienced in the bluish haze of smoke from the thurible, I found a welcome little island of stillness. I preached on Trust, and knew that, as usual, I was speaking mostly to myself. This Lent past, in a thousand ways I have had the lesson repeated that this beautiful, powerful, elegant, astonishingly clever universe is a gift to me and means me well. The universe and the immense will which formed it trust me, so I can trust them in return.
After the service there were sandwiches and cake in the parish hall, but I couldn't wait to be back in my little home, still full of people, and with toys and bits of cake scattered over the carpet and with Noah asking me questions which sounded like poems. Why do people sometimes see motorbikes? What are butterflies for, Pappa? Where does the moon go in the daytime?
Today was farewell. I buckled my dear ones into their car seats, hugged my daughter, shook hands with my son-in-law. We all waved. Then Clemency and I packed up the temporary bedding, dismantled the child proof fortifications on the stairs, looked at the photographs, cleaned the house, and settled back into our quietness.