Tag Archives: poetry

On Trust

trustThis morning, the prayer booklet I use for my morning prayer included a reading from Proverbs 3.  This was one of the readings that I used for my final vows liturgy, and it played quite a role on the retreat I took before requesting to profess my final YES. (The picture is one I took on that retreat, which I then included on the cover of my final vows liturgy program).

Today during my morning prayer, as I sat with this passage, my heart gave me this:

Trust in God with all your heart.
When all your heart is in the mix,
you open yourself to truly loving,
with all the beauty and challenge,
vulnerability and sweetness,
companionship and loss,
wanting so much to hold on
even as we move toward being able to let go.
With all your heart
you open yourself
to God’s love
to God’s plan
to the hope that points beyond itself
to the fullness of time.
Love makes it all possible,
God’s love for us
our love for God and
one another.
Trust in love.

Retreat Notes – Texture

I am back from retreat, slowly re-entering my day to day life, such as it is, where really every day is full of its own adventures, flavors and textures.

Speaking of textures, one invitation I experienced this week was to pay attention to the textures. Textures in the pictures I was taking of the beautiful landscape around the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Oregon.

 

Textures in my life,  relationships, community. Textures in my deepening experiences of God’s love. Textures in my response to my ongoing call.

Some hard. Some soft.
Prickly or smooth.
Moisture on rock–sitting patiently
impervious, or maybe
not.
Some will sink into the deep.
It is in the textures of life
where we touch, feel, and know
We are together,
incarnating in our world
the love that has been given
Gift for all.

 

I spy

On my morning walk today, I spied with my little eye …

Two rabbits
One literally running down the bunny trail
Only his cotton tail visible.

One coast guard ship
Patrolling the waters of the
Hudson.

An empty Heineken can
(Presumably empty … I did not check)

A myriad of birds
Which also serenaded my ears
Along with the oddly soothing sounds of traffic.

And in the distance
The city
People busy about many things
Starting a day
Full of promise.

image

Among the Trees

Looking up at the trees at St. Mary-on-the-Lake
Looking up at the trees at St. Mary-on-the-Lake

I will never forget the first time I drove on to the property at St. Mary-on-the-Lake, the west coast regional center of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace. I had driven 3 hours from Portland to attend my first ever vocation retreat. While I had been in contact with the vocation director by email, I had not yet met any of the Sisters and was still a bit unsure about this whole becoming a Catholic Sister thing. Truth be told, I was more than a wee bit nervous.

And then I drove onto the property and was immediately calm and at peace. It was the trees. St. Mary’s is on a wooded property with beautiful tall cedars and evergreens.  When I say tall, I mean tall. They tower over our three story residence buildings. They are majestic and strong. They provide shade and endless green. They make for a cozy peaceful spot.  They speak to me of home.

This morning I arrived back at this sacred spot, flying to Seattle from New Jersey where I am living at our eastern regional center (also a beautiful spot to be sure – in its own way).  We have our Spring Assembly here on the weekend. It is always good to spend time with our CSJP Sisters and Associates, whether in the East, the West, or the UK. One benefit of my new gig is that it is now part of my job to spend time with them. How lucky am I?

I have moved around quite a bit in the past decade since I entered the community, and I will be spending the next six years or so living in New Jersey. But the Pacific Northwest is home. It is the place where my being is most at peace. Several of the Sisters greeted me in the dining room earlier today, welcoming me home, even if just for a short visit. I was lucky enough to live here at St. Mary-on-the-Lake the year after the Novitiate, and this community was my home base while I was studying in Chicago. They would always welcome me home for holidays and vacations or just for a visit. It is good to have a place like that, where people and landscape make you feel at home.

Some of you may realize that the title of this blog post is a nod to one of my favorite poems, by Mary Oliver. I’ll end this post with her words, inspired by a different landscape but entirely transferable:

When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.

I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.

And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”
– Mary Oliver –

A patch of green

Walking by I see
what I have seen
for days and days and weeks,
just white
snow and slush and ice.

Or
do I see what I expect
to see
and miss
the small
patch
of green.

Because it is there
it has been there all along
waiting to break free
of the snow and slush and ice
and proclaim the good news
of Spring.

It makes me wonder
What else do you think
I miss
because I do not
expect it to be there?

Paradox of Waiting

We wait
in joyful hope.
Sometime anxious
for what might come.
Sometimes not sure of
what will be.
Sometimes not sure
we can let go.
But we are ready for
hoping for
new life, renewed love, and …

We wait for what is to come
but we already have so much.
Our hearts yearn to grow.
Our hands reach out to touch.
Our feet stand on the same ground
upon which others have walked
the walk of hope.

We wait
we long
we stretch
towards the One
who is
hope.

waiting