This morning I “ran” the stairs at the National Cathedral (I’m 46 and pretty out of shape. Do we really further need to address the quotes?)

If you follow my Instagram (meghan.riordan.jarvis) you know I’ve spent a fair amount of time in the Bishop’s Garden since quarantine began. The National Cathedral is easily one of my favorite places in DC. As my daughter put it: “it feels like England and Cape Cod all at once.”

And I could leave it there. I could just say that its a pretty campus, a beautiful building, a pretty garden, and I go there often.

But here is the thing:

I am also personal friends with two women members of the clergy who work on the campus. Like deep, personal, there in your moments of darkness friends.

And yesterday I realized I have seven clergy member facebook friends.

And this week amazon music suggested I might like to listen to a modern Christian Rock station.

And I’m currently reading Rachel Held Evans and Nadia Bolz- Webber and Sue Monk Kid.

And the podcast in my ear? Kate Bowler and Nadia (and Dani Shaprio and Brene Brown who are all about the spirituality of it all)…

And I’m working on a facebook live type evening service that might fill in the space for the non-religiously affiliated who need gathering ritual to make space for all the loss — (for my Exeter readers — I’m imaging using the Evening Prayer model, two readings to musical interludes).

As my friend Leyla (one of those clergy I was talking about) would be the first to point out — there is a suspicious amount of organized religion surrounding a woman who claims to be without any faith organization.

When I was in my early twenties, I left the Catholic Church. I literally stood up during a mass when a priest said nothing particularly offensive, left and never came back.

It had been a long road to leaving. I went to the Catholic church for years and years of Sundays hoping to hear that I mattered. That being a woman was good enough, that love is love is love, and I want to be careful to speak for myself here…

I just never heard it.

And for whatever reason, on that particular day, I just stopped wanting it

Gardens or churches they both stem from my mother.



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Meghan Riordan Jarvis is a trauma and grief-informed psychotherapist, speaker, educator, writer, wife, and mother of three.