dum(Vsetín, Zlinsky Kraj, Česká republika) – It’s the Third Sunday in Lent already! Seems like just yesterday when I was in Zlín celebrating something akin to a Czech version of Mardi Gras. Of course,that means Easter is around the corner, sort of. Spring has already sprung in this part of the world. The dreaded winter seems to have been by passed here in southern Moravia and leapt frogged directly into spring. Do not pass “Go” do not collect $200. It’s ok by me. Now I have a bunch of winter outfits with no place to go. However, with all the climate change stuff going on, there will probably be a heavy snowfall in San Francisco next year so I’ll be the only one ready for it. I really wanted to wear my ski mask. I bought it after Susan tried to kill me with hypothermia in Velké Karlovice a few months ago when we went to search out Our Lady of the Snow Church. That day was bitter cold. My toes and face are still frozen. The wedding we saw there was cool, though (no pun intended).

Went to Nový Jičín, a town not far from Vestín. Nice town square. Of course as per usual, being Saturday and all, we ran into another wedding. I travelled there with my friend Marcus, an American, and his two children, Zach and Sofi. They are lots of fun to be around and we scoped out the town before having lunch and heading back to Vsetín. I don’t have any hard history of the place to share, but I’ll look it up. Returning home I had time to spruce up and get ready for the grand ball held at Dům Kultury near the government buildings. We were invited by one of our students who organized it to attend. It was a dance/fashion show/cultural extravaganza and the last gathering of the “Ball Season” for the town. The women and men were dressed to the “nines” and if one didn’t know better one might have guessed it was an Atherton Fund Raising event. All the men wore black suits some with bow ties. I wore the only sport coat I brought with me, a light brown professor style corduroy coat. Of course no one could tell I was an American and I’m certain I didn’t stand out…much.  Most, if not all the people there must have all gone to dance school or something. It was a little like dancing with the stars but with real dancers. I tried not to look like Elaine from Seinfeld, but it was pretty hard keeping a low profile with my brown coat in a sea of black.  It was a fun evening with my “dancing” and conversation, good music and fun people. Normally I go to bed at 9 and read for a while before dozing off. But Saturday I stayed well after midnight before heading home.

Speaking of dances and stuff…water seems to be the theme in this Sunday’s readings for the third week in Lent. In the first reading from Exodus, you have the story about the people complaining to Moses that they have nothing to drink and can he please, please take them back to Egypt. Yes they were slaves, but at least they had water…and of course, all the bricks they could make and no future but… they had water. The second story is from the New Testament, it is about the Samaritan woman at the well. I guess one can make the case about water in general like it is cleansing and refreshing. The common denominator in these two stories is one of equality. Both rich and poor, good guy and bad guy, master and slave, they all need the same thing to survive, water. The water doesn’t make us better than someone else, it makes us equal in our humanity. I know there’s a whole lot to be said on the subject and time and space limits me somewhat (yes I know I am rambling). Suffice it to say that when we reach for the jug of water to drink we remember we are all in this together and maybe, just maybe enemies can become friends, and maybe perspective becomes the activity of the day and maybe our humaneness can shine outward to others, maybe.

When the Samaritans came to him,
they invited him to stay with them;
and he stayed there two days. (Jn. 4:5 ff)

Yeah it’s possible.

and so it goes…