...writing in Costa Rica, a poem...
The plaza surrounds the cathedral
With concrete pavers
Boys on skateboards sliding across space and time
Brown-skinned mamas, babies in slings
Trucks and vegetable vendors, holding out dirty nails and strands of garlic
Laughing exchanges between old men
These towns are built from the inside out
Beginning with la iglesia.
Someone told us all pueblos have these three:
Iglesia, Futbol, Cantina
Not sure of the order.
I haven’t yet stepped inside one of these monuments, but I imagine:
Exquisite attention to detail,
Arches and stained glass,
Artfully constructed altars,
Firm pews with straight backs.
Humanity is a throng in the plaza on a Sunday afternoon.
What if we open those ancient walls and bring her inside?
Stack the stones out in the sun
Encircle park and babies, chile peppers and people
Until the heavens become an ocean overhead, and the floor a soccer field...
And we are within, and the whole thing in the light,
The only altar a flame,
The gospel of Christ.
And everywhere chairs and basins and towels.
What if we lean against the urge to merely deconstruct
And instead remember -
How to build a family?
How to center a life,
around something you cannot buy
or find within yourself?
What if we discover there is ample room for skating and singing and spontaneity
Because the church is a living thing with lungs
And not a well-decorated tradition?
What if the church is a throng in the plaza on a Sunday afternoon,
Moving like a flash mob
Around the center of our hallelujah?