Silken melancholy, pathos saturated and sung by an inimitable singer, these words:

Memory, all alone in the moonlight

I can dream of the old days

life was beautiful then

I remember the time I knew what happiness was

let the memory live again.

I confess. I’m a romantic. I love the wistful, cavernous emotion of that song, and all love songs (ie ‘The Lady in Red’ by Chris de Burgh), and sad songs (Barry Manilow’s version of ‘Lay me Down and Roll me Out to Sea) and sweet, sad stories (tearful) and happy reunions (likewise tearful), my favorite made-for-TV Christmas movie, ‘The Gathering’, and all things nostalgic, (just heard my first song the Season!). And speaking of Christmas, a memory has been evoked of my mother’s fruitcake (my deepest sympathies to all who errantly consider them the scourge of the earth. We will be eating fruitcake in heaven. That’s in parenthesis in ‘Jesus Loves Me,’ you know). My heart is beating faster even now just thinking of the wonder of this delectable creation so lovingly and consistently part of my childhood Christmases. Alas! The recipe went to heaven on March 3, 2010, so my longing is increased a hundredfold. What I remember is the month of September, the great long list of ingredients required, the all-day preparation of those ingredients, the long, slow bake in the oven, those tantalizing aromas! the careful wrapping, the secreting away in the cool recesses of our basement until the Season!  sigh

Scoff if you must, reciting the adage, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ But, for me, our vast range of tastes and preferences highlights the dazzling, daring diversity of the Body of Christ. God has divinely purposed to assemble us from all corners of the globe that, together, as one, we might attempt to declare His fullness to a hurting, broken world. All our earliest memories; our neighborhoods, our families, our failures and successes, our neatnik neatnesses and our slovenlinesses, our athletic gifts and our lack of same, our angelic voices and our tin ears, serve, miraculously, to demonstrate the love choices of our Eternal God and Prodigal (wastefully extravagant) Father. The more we share in the endless bounty from his hand, the less our pasts trip us up. The more Spirit liberty we experience, the less our quirkinesses stay in place as dividing walls. I know that sharing my sacred childhood reminiscence has added joy to your joy tank – either because you share my delight in this culinary masterpiece or joy that you don’t have to suffer the sharing (to me, ditto your oysters).  PD

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