The speed limit in our new neighborhood is 15 miles per hour. Now, this is not a limit set by some distant bureaucracy; this is a very intentional choice of the close-knit neighborhood tucked in these quiet mountain woods. It sets the expectation that as you enter, you will slow down and have a care for your neighbors: their safety as they walk their dogs or take their exercise; their comfort as they cook or listen to music or sit on the deck. It reminds one that there are sleeping babies and elders. It also says, “you’re almost home. No need to rush.”

After a long time of hurry-up-and-wait, we’re almost home, you and I. Rob and I had a more complex move than we’d hoped, making our way from NYC to Asheville. Our dogs, Dexter and Bailey, and our cats, Blackberry and Pippin, had to be medicated for days of travel. Our son, Mars, got to miss the tough part as he participates in his most favorite thing – UU summer camp at Camp Uunirondack. Thanks to the help of friends, he’ll take a train and then a plane and be in Asheville next week, when our adult daughter Ember also arrives to help him set up his room and to see our new home.  She’s also helping us make room for the things we’ve inherited from my grandparents since their recent move to a retirement community. I had hoped to be able to see them far more often, but as we moved, my dear grandfather, Click Fulbright, passed away quietly at age 95. My grandmom, Kitty, is on her own after more than 75 years of marriage. Her memory loss has my grandad off playing golf or at an appointment. Sometimes there is grace even in the hardest things.

All of this is to say: we don’t have to rush. We can slow down, take our time now, appreciate the chance to savor and get to know each other. We can see the lights of home. Now is the time to remember to take account of one another, be responsible for caring for each other, lean into opportunities for a cup of coffee, a good meal, conversation, some worship and song. 

I am so glad to be here, at long last. Here’s to slowing down and making the most of the days we have together.

With lots of love –

Rev. Audette