09 July 2012

Prone to wander

I am amused by how my mind can do two things at once.  Not multi-tasking.  Multi-thinking.

During church yesterday the choir sang "Come thou fount of every blessing" for the offertory.  I'd finished preparing the altar for the communion and was standing to the side of the chancel listening.  The third verse includes a phrase that set my mind off along an unexpected track.  "Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it ..."  I continued listening, but part of me had stopped and, delighted, was agreeing.

I am prone to wander.  Now, I do know that Robert Robinson's poetry is a warning about lessening one's faithfulness to God.  I am being far more literal.  To me wandering is a good thing.  I love to wander. 

What my mind did during the offertory anthem is a case in point.  I don't, physically, have to go anywhere.  In the time it took the choir to finish that third and final verse and for me to step back into my official role, I'd drifted from "prone to wander" to "I wonder as I wander out under the sky," a Appalachian folk song.  How I managed to drag myself back to Greenwood for my next line is a wonder.

This morning my Girl Scout camp experience of the early 1960s resurfaced.  How I hated that place.  A mosquito and snake-infested, muggy hot, regularly flooded plantation-turned-camp near Cordesville in the South Carolina lowcountry. 

Some positive memories do endure.  Camp songs for one.  One included a lilting polka melody and the declaration "I love to go a-wandering."  That one gave me an introduction to my true self.  I am only now at nearly 59 beginning to understand.

I found the words to "The Happy Wanderer" on line.  Like with the phrase from yesterday morning's hymn the single phrase refreshes me.  While on line I also discovered many YouTube renditions.  Concertina.  Accordion.  Fast.  Slow.  Grade-school chorus.  Lawrence Welk.  Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians.  Even the Muppets (resist this link if you can: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=YhI4q1savV0&NR=1).

A wandering mind.  A wandering heart. Wandering feet.   Not an entirely negative personality trait .  I think I'm supposed to enjoy it, actually.

Prone to wander.  'Tis I.

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