We had a farewell for one of our priests today. Ros was ordained from St James about five years ago, but she and her husband have been involved in our parish for nearly 18 years - much longer than I've been there! We will miss Ros - she's a cheerful, loving, warm person with an amazing ministry of courage and compassion. Our daughter adores her and will miss her terribly.
We had a bit of a concert for her and her husband, followed by a parish pizza night. Although I knew almost everyone there and am friendly with most of them, I was feeling quite off-balance and uncomfortable. I've never liked large crowds and big gatherings (unless all or most of the people are good friends of mine) - one of the reasons why I was never part of the party crowd at university! The odd thing was that this is a group of people I have known for years and there are several people that I'm quite close to. I think I just wasn't in a "people space" tonight (and it's full moon...!).
When I got home, I sat down at the piano and played for over 2 hours. It's ages since I did that, but I really needed that expression, and now I'm feeling quite relaxed and centred again. I was missing my music, I think. There's something about pouring my soul out through my fingers that says all sorts of things that sometimes I can't put into words. And music has always been prayer for me. Maybe my cross, off-balance self just needed to pray!