Be Like The Church Ladies


I think often of the church ladies of my youth. The South Dakota Norwegians bearing fresh lefse; the Nebraska Germans who showed up at our door balancing steaming casseroles “for the preacher’s family.” Not only was that shit hearty and buttery and gooood; but it taught me so much, about so much.

Every time someone died, every time a baby was born or baptized or a teenager confirmed, those same church ladies showed up in their flowered aprons and roller-set hair and sensible shoes to serve homemade Jell-O salad and mashed potatoes and thick pineappled ham and potato salad (more mayo, more mayo) and green bean casserole and red velvet cake for dessert. Rocking the fellowship hall was their offering, their art. They rolled up their sleeves and started early and stayed late and in between hustled around with serving spoons and Saran Wrap and Wonderbread and made that shit HAPPEN.

I think of Mildred and Marian and Maude when I grow frustrated with the increasingly branding-heavy, personality-cult-based, hyper-commodified current yoga scene. The way they just showed up and served — no branded ambassadorial spandex, no sponsored tie-ins, no photo shoot to advertise the moment. The way they poured out selflessly of their gifts, whether those gifts looked like cream cheese frosting or homemade sourdough or pistachio pudding. And the way their craft-labor nourished, held, comforted, provided for, and sheltered so many.

Be like the church ladies. Show up and serve. This is yoga. No hairnet necessary.

Comments

a-fricken men!

thank you for this today. a perfect start to my weekend and reminder to show up, be present, offer what I know to my students and stay humble.

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