Ivy in Bloom

The night before Day Light Savings Time went into effect I told Ivy the clocks were going to change. So she asked, “to green?”

This is the week for Green here in Augusta. The rest of the year our town is pretty normal*, but for this week the world descends into our homes. And we all seek to clamor through the wardrobe and enter into a holy place. While we know that busy Washington Road is only a short step away, inside it is calm. The greens have been set apart from the noise and bustle…

*Normal in the southern sense ~ here when I mention hating the Yankees everyone agrees, but I am the only one referring to baseball!)

“HIPPOOO… HIIPPPOOOO…” Ivy is searching for her puppet hippo and when she discovered the toy she reports, “I found Hippo, he was hiding in the basket.”

The cost of the Masters is more than luck or money or friends. To step inside you must also relinquish connections to the outside world—you must leave your cell phone. Which is a strange feeling, as though part of us is lost. Or that you forgot to wear pants… but without interruptions it really does begin to feel like we have left the world behind.* Without entangling obligations, the moment is more captivating. Without a buzz or txt, conversations are deeper. Hence, inside, the place has an air of possibility. Not that animals will talk, still … who knows what is possible.

*This was broken briefly as a plane flew overhead with a banner for Tiger…(Click here if did not see the pictures.)

As we left two ladies walked into the store and Ivy asked, “Where is she going?” So I asked, “Which lady, the black lady or the white lady?” To which Ivy responded, “The blue one.” When I looked back I realized the black lady was wearing a blue dress…

Part of the magic is created by fences. For most of the year the National is just trees and bamboo which we drive by on the way to Kroger. A place with gates and guards, like they are protecting a government weapon. Of course, exclusion is a weapon. It creates desire and resentment—both feelings together, because we are not valuable enough to enter… so when the gates are opened wide people flock—if for that one moment to be a part of something that is beyond our grasp. And inside, for an instant, we taste the life of the other half.* And if we were honest it is sweet to join in the crowd and buy t-shirts that cost more than my dress shirts.

* The “other half” is a silly phrase, since really it is the other half percent

“Does it have your name on it?”, Megan asked as Ivy cried over the juice we were giving to Phoebe. But she was quick to respond, “It doesn’t have Phoebe’s name on it.”

We function with an unreasonable logic. We long to go where we can not, but trample over the places we are invited. We relinquish cell phones for the Masters, but has a Sunday past without a dance tune and an embarrassed rush?* I wonder if the church would be better served if we were a little more exclusive? Maybe people would read their Bible if only members could own one. Or if we kicked out people who did not behave according to our rules… but as Ivy constantly reminds me, “God wants us to be friends with everyone.”

* Even better, everyone staring at each other as the ringtone plays in full—which requires a bit of acting talent… I suppose we prepared for this by blaming gas on our neighbor in elementary school.

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