As I sit on the couch having an aimless Sunday, I think back to what used to be about for me. I have vivid memories of waking up early and watching the cartoon adventures of Don Coyote and Sancho Panda as I got ready for church. I can almost smell the cream of wheat that my mother would make before I put on my clip on tie and we’d head to the bus stop.
I remember the walk after the bus ride when my mom and I would play silly games like hunting for a specific kind of car. I remember the red pews inside the church building and the fans that the old ladies would use if the spirit hit too hard or the air conditioning hit too softly. I can still hear the choir singing. I see my godmother directing them and I want to be just like her. I also wonder what we’ll have for dinner afterward at my godparents house, assuming the pastor finishes his prayer this century.
While dinner was cooking my little cousin and I would play wrestling, not wrestle each other, but actually create our own WWE events with his set of action figures. We’d have elaborate storylines that went on for weeks. We wrote them all down and made epic matchups if I do say so myself. I should have known then that a) I’d be hooked on pro wrestling for life and b) I loved creating stories. (Even as I write this post, I have Friday’s tape of Smackdown on in the background to help keep the hamster wheel turning in my brain).
I miss the ways that my Sundays used to go. I miss the conversations that I would have with my godfather while we ate. To this day I’ve yet to find a greater source of wisdom and experience. I miss the comfort of family, not necessarily the one that nature chose but the one that chose me. I miss the predictability of having somewhere to be. I don’t miss the inevitable semi-dreadful sense of school looming around the corner; it still looms after all these years.
Often when I look back on my childhood it feels like it happened to a different person, more like I’m watching a movie of someone else’s life instead of flashing back into my own.
I fast forward to more recent past Sundays, to braving the cold in Western Massachusetts and sitting in a church building once frequented by abolitionists, to directing my own gospel choir, to definitely not wearing clip on ties. I remember the fellowship of brothers I forged based on our own ABCs — alcohol, bible study, and Chappelle’s Show. I speed all the way through Virginia and Christmas cantatas and trips to Shoney’s.
Somewhere between Virginia and LA I lost my sense of routine. Really I lost my sense of religion and routine was just one of the casualties that went with it.
Maybe it’s time to start some new Sunday traditions. I don’t really care enough about football to go out and tailgate. I’d love to have Sunday dinners with friends and family again (as long as someone else agrees in advance to do the dishes). Perhaps I’ll have to settle for writing every Sunday and putting on a gospel CD if I get nostalgic.
For now I’ve decided that Sunday is about rest, reflection, and alcoholic beverages. Whether it is communion wine at church, a mimosa at brunch, or a beer during the game (or Chappelle’s Show) I’ll make sure to enjoy an adult drink to commemorate the Sabbath and toast in a new and promising week.
What does Sunday mean to you?