One of the women on the pilgrimage (we are in Scotland visiting prayed-in places) sent me an email before we left.
Shy, she is, and deep and fine. She wanted to know if she should act on this for-her wild notion that she ought bring a small tambourine along on the trip. Did I think that was a good idea?
Of course I shared my enthusiasm for the idea. And, I was delighted this pilgrimage felt like a place for tambourines and shaking and new things.
She broke it out last night. During worship we sang a Celtic “Alleluia” in a fine 6/8 that was crying out for a tambourine. It was perfection. She waited for the beat to sound in her bones and when she knew it in that place she made the noise given her to share.
We often are unsure about what to pack for the journey. We put in the trieds and trues and usuals and then, just sometimes then, we are swept into a new way of imagining our selves and our way of being in community.
Tambourines come out, shaking their proclamation that the dance of our lives is accompanied by voice and instrument and heart and wild and sweet and lilt and the community of life kin join with us and we are sung anew.
So we travel; sometimes with a tambourine.