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June 25, 2006



riding with my dad on father's day i witnessed this greeting from the back seat. it made me also feel like part of a community. i'm pretty sure it is a universal sign.

Jeanne Loehnis

Can't say I've seen that particular motorcycle greeting. But, a rider myself, when I finally realized what the very small movement of the fingers of the left hand up and down from the grip meant ... well, I have felt what it's like to be part of the "club". So exciting to be acknowledged by a total stranger -- except for our common love of the cycle.

In case you didn't know, it is pretty dangerous to let go the grip for long on a cycle. Well, okay, it's reasonable if you don't hit any bumps in the road! But, I don't let go too often. So the gentle 45 degree movement (as opposed to a wild wave!) makes lots of sense to me.

As for my last visit to a church... I am fortunate that I do go to a small church where community is practiced. After the service I shared a personal experience about a group I facilitate -- and another person came up and freely shared his experience with a Men's group and the importance of a personal vision and mission. I walked away with a personal challenge and a deeper connection.

I have learned that it isn't a good place for me to be -- in a large church service resembling those of my youth. At least not unless I can keep an open mind, a loving heart, and inner peace. Short of that, and I get judgmental and wind up disliking myself!

So yes, to feel connected :) is a wonderful feeling.

thank you for this connection blog, Trish!

HUGS, Jeanne


I just had to come pay you a visit since you so kindly visited me. Feeling connected and part of a community is a comfort. You are part of something bigger than yourself but at the same time it is like a security blanket that you may wrap yourself up in. It is a shame when people are afraid to reach out to those around them or beckon to them a warm welcome or hello.

As for church, I don't go anymore after years and years of attending. It is not my faith in God that is shaken but rather my faith in men and women who claim to act in God's behalf. I tend to look for God in our natural world whether on a hike through our forests, or in the ripples of a lake, the birth of a new baby, or the death of a loved one--he is everywhere around us.

I enjoy your website and will stop by and visit again.

Christine Paintner

This is a lovely post, and touched something in me. I realize that while I love my church community, I have felt a bit dry at church lately. My prayer life has been very active and I have felt the energy of other small faith communities with which I am involved, so I am not sure what has been missing from my time at Sunday worship. Thanks for prompting deeper reflection.

Story Midwife

Shannon, will your dad take me for a ride? :-)

Story Midwife

How important it is to feel that our sense of calling - of "mission and vision" is seen. Heard. Celebrated. I am so glad you have found this in your church community. I know others are blessed by your open-hearted celebration as well.

Story Midwife

Welcome here!
Yes, yes, yes. God is ever revealed in the natural world -- and in our own stories. What wondrous things are outside your Colorado window today?

Story Midwife

Thank you so much for your visit. I have enjoyed many meanderings through your lovely site as well.

The "dryness" can be an interesting and revealing time - especially in community, yes? Do you know what it is that will quench your thrist?

Christine Paintner

I wish I knew SM, I love my church community. For a Catholic church it is very progressive and social justice-oriented, as well as ethically diverse. We have a large African-American community and two gospel masses. I think part of the problem is I feel like the community is in a rut. The homilies haven't been inspiring, even the music seems like the same stuff we have sung for a long time. Yet, I don't have the energy right now to raise the issue. I am going to be out of town quite a bit this summer, so hopefully the time away will give me some perspective!

Jeanne Loehnis


Perhaps the break will be just what your soul needs to feel renewed and refreshed. I am also taking a break from some of my routine activities this summer - trying some new things!

I have a thought for you, though. I am blessed to know Story Mid-Wife. She's a pretty special person! She and her husband and I are all writing new music for liturgy and for small groups of spiritually-aware, open, or just plain interested folks. When you feel inclined to invest in the experience that your church community is offering, consider bringing some new music to the church's musicians. Visit for starters. If SM would like to share her music websites here (I would think she would but I don't want to say anything I shouldn't!!), she will and you will be SO glad you visited there.

Perhaps because I attend a small church community where it feels as if everyone can have input -- and is encouraged to take responsibility for the service experience -- I think it is more than appropriate to bring ideas to the table. Life is what we offer to it!

A blessed evening to you all! Jeanne


I don't think I've seen that particular greeting before. I wonder how it started? (Maybe pointing to the yellow line means, "Stay on your own side of the road!") ;)

In the rural area where we live now, the standard in-car greeting is the raised finger. And not the middle finger! Just one finger raised from the steering wheel. I like it.

Story Midwife

Sounds like a wonderfully rich and diverse community. Have you been there long? Sounds like you're exercising "radical self-care" in choosing not to raise the issue right now. ;-) Good for you. May this season of being away from regular worship there offer you renewed insight and inspiration.

Story Midwife

Thanks for your comments. And thanks for the music you write to infuse community with freshness and new life. :-)

Story Midwife

Welcome Rurality!
Yes! We in our rural neck of the woods have the Pointer Finger Wave, too. My father grew up on a farm but raised his family in town. Whenever we rode in his beat-up pick-up truck (and NOT when we rode in the family car) his finger would seemingly revert involuntarily to extend this greeting to passersby. Funny how the body remembers...

Welcome here, by the way. So glad you stopped by.

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