My Church

blow up churchNo, it's not what you think. My church isn't a building, even an inflatable one 47'x47'x47' (OK, that church is only 25' wide). Though, if it were a real church, I hope it would have something clever on the marquee.

My place of worship is a field in downtown Los Lunas, New Mexico. For about 30 years, the same group of friends has been gathering every Sunday afternoon to play volleyball. I've been part of the congregation for, perhaps, 15 years -- I'm the new guy. Every Sunday, at least 50 weeks a year, we gather to play volleyball for 2 to 3 hours.

We have great fun. We are old friends in a familiar ritual. The game often has a Zen-like quality -- the game plays us. People make spectacular plays; people screw up royally; sometimes it's just a matter of timing. All under the blue cathedral dome of New Mexico's sky, beneath the shade and windbreak of osage orange trees (aka brainfruit), downwind from the greasy reek of McDonald's, between the railroad tracks and the volunteer fire department, a mile or so from where el Rio Grande del Norte trickles into the sand.

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