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Today at the beginning of our Tuesday morning group there was a strange iridescent stone being passed around by J. He was leading the discussion today, and we were still in the announcements segment that begins each meeting when he passed the stone. We were about to begin the introductions where we usually say our names in order around the circle. That is helpful because there are usually about twenty-five people and often a new person or two and also it is a refresher for this once a week meeting. The stone had progressed to me just before the round-robin announcement of names began and I paused before I said my name and suggested that we say our names as we passed the stone along the circle. It was sort of fun, it didn’t take long, and gave a little more of a communal feeling to our group. We often do a minute-long meditation at the beginnings of our meetings and almost always do an om at the end. There are several other little rituals we do for our own amusement. The passing of the stone just might happen again. It will be interesting to see if it ever happens again.

Today one of our younger group members, Cat, announced that she wouldn’t be coming to our meetings anymore because she was moving to New Zealand. It wasn’t clear to me if this was for a year or permanently. In any case, we did a laying on of hands with a long om to wish her a fond farewell. I may be a little sentimental, but I feel a loss when someone departs like that because it is almost always forever. Okay, every moment of our life is a departure from our former life and a moving on to something new, but I like to see people move through their lives. There is a glowing of growth about knowing people as they relate to new and different things which leads to my relating to them in a broader way. And if they are physically gone that development doesn’t happen.

As I was walking back to the Old Stone Church to my car the Catholic Church bells rang and I went in.