This series titled, “In Light Together, Apart” shares artwork of the attenders from the Young Adult Friend (YAF) retreat on May 15-16, 2020. The idea behind the retreat was to collaboratively create something that speaks to where young adult friends were at that time. The themes that emerged were: time, place, people, loss, change, searching, and reflection. The stories and art shared in this series reflect the feelings and opinions of the people who made them.
This week we see art by Andrew Thompson, MMFP, PYM, and Eleanor Barba. The story this week comes from Jeff, CPMM. The details for this week’s worship service can be found at https://www.pym.org/event/yaf-community-worship-creativity/
It’s really spring now. Those awful rains are beginning to slow down and the birds are coming out for real. Not that the birds are that important anyway. As usual, a few of the housefolk leave food out every day, which is much easier than catching a bird. Not as tasty (it’s very dry), but I’ll put up with it if it means I get to lie in the sun for longer. The birds are a special treat, for when I’m feeling decadent, or when someone else has eaten all of the dry food meant for us alley cats.
But that’s the way it has been every year, and this year is different. It’s much harder to catch the birds now, even if I want to, and it’s all because of these housefolk. I always think they can’t get any weirder, and they always prove me wrong. Over the years, I’ve learned to live with them and their noisiness, occasionally stomping around on my territory and making weird smoky smells. But it’s much worse this year. They just won’t leave us alone! They’re constantly outside behind their houses, chattering away and making loud noises with their machines, scaring away all the birds and mice and making it hard to sleep. I’m pretty certain they’re not going to try and kidnap me, but I don’t want to take the chance.
There are a few places where they never go, though. They don’t seem to be able to climb over fences, and they come out of some houses more than others, which leaves the backs of a few houses pretty safe. The smoke they make travels between the fences, but at least I know where I can nap without one of them stomping over to me.
The Chairman doesn’t seem to mind; he’s out there yowling as much as ever, trying to get more of them to put out food. So far that hasn’t been working, but at least he’s reminding them that this is our home. He’s always telling us to be less afraid of them, but the rest of us prefer to keep our distance. Especially Patches, he hardly sticks around anywhere long enough for me to find him. I think this is making him more nervous than he usually is. My sisters and I are trying our best to keep up our routines like everything is normal, but there’s definitely something very strange happening.
Not all of the changes are bad, though. The housefolk may be out behind the houses more than usual, but the monsters that run around in front of the houses are mostly asleep. They sometimes sleep for days on end, which they rarely have done before. During the rainstorms, it has been much easier to find shelter under one of the slumbering monsters without worrying that we might wake it. Every once in a while, I will see one awake, but whatever has changed with the housefolk seems to have made the monsters a lot more relaxed. The constant stream of them between the houses has slowed to the point where we can cross their paths without worrying about being run over.
I really hope the housefolk go back to normal soon. Last year was a pretty good year, and I don’t want them to think that our territory is their home. We were born here, we have lived our lives here.
The previous iteration of the series can be found at https://www.pym.org/yaf-at-home-spring-retreat-2020-in-light-together-apart-week-3/