Meeting is a continuing revelation to me when I go - not the sort of deep and complicated message that I read online from Friends who often seem to me to have a whole heck of a lot of time on their hands, but just a surprisingly cooling and soothing engulfment of the parched fields of my exhausting life.
I confess to being so busy and so tired most of the time that, before the fact, I don't usually want to go to Meeting. I welcome excuses for not having Meeting and since we are a tiny Meeting and I - due to the need to educate my children in our faith - tend to be the person these days with the most desire to continue meeting, my fellow Friends are often willing to give me excuses. They have complications that exhaust them too - sick partners and parents and travel. Often just my own family even shows up.
When we most of us make it there, though, I remember why it is so important that we meet together, and not just carry on our spiritual lives individually. The whole Meeting feels it. It matters. Even in the short periods before and after the children and I leave to and return from First Day School, the Gathered Meeting takes its so central place in our souls and lifts us all up.
Today was especially nice, as the Lone Star Baby, for really the first time, felt very much a part of the Gathered Meeting, still and serene and silent beside me. If the fifteen-year-old hadn't been so much more fidgety than the six-year-old, I might have forgotten all about First Day school and stayed.