Who is that geek
in the chemistry lab?
Once a novice...
Always a novice.
All history is ultimately local and personal. To tell what we remember, and to keep on telling it, is to keep the past alive in the present. Should we not do so, we could not know, in the deepest sense, how to inhabit a place. To inhabit a place means literally to have made it a habit, to have made it the custom and ordinary practice of our lives, to have learned how to wear a place like a familiar garment, like the garments of sanctity that nuns once wore. The word habit, in its now-dim original form, meant to own. We own places not because we possess the deeds to them, but because they have entered the continuum of our lives. What is strange to us unfamiliar can never be home.
Paul Gruchow, Grass Roots: The Universe of Home
Think back to Stearns County, Minnesota. 1959. St. Benedict's. That's when 36 of us entered the Benedictine convent. Time works such changes and we were pretty young women back then. So when three of us had the opportunity to meet over "SINnamon" rolls and coffee and discuss where we are now, 45 years later... why you'd want to be a mouse in the corner that morning.
One woman is still faithful to her vows and two women were early dropouts. Among us... three marriages, a son, a granddaughter,
several homes, retirement, reasonable health, and diverging travels and philosophies. Careers of management, education and business took each of us on our separate roads.
Yes, of course, we talked about friends, politics and religion. And further than that, we found that on the timeline of the expectations we've had, that we are pretty much where we ought to be. This threesome is happy, vital, finding ways to contribute and acknowledging a contentment of soul... a yielding to the realities of life but with a central serenity of purpose and spirit.
We discussed our concerns for the future of the convent with a diminishing population and facing the vicissitudes of aging and of a planning and zoning board that may approve a four-lane road right through its center.
We covered the vagaries of the Vatican, yet another unjustified war, poisoning of planet, and the pervasive go-to-bottom-line culture. We also expressed dismay over the lowering of standards in education, manners and sense of responsibility. We held that the complete lack of healthcare in this wealthy country is a lack of moral leadership. We decided that the power, greed and influence of money over our government should be considered the treason that it truly is.
What could we possibly have in common after over 45 years? There is no lack of energizing expectations here. Concerns for the planet's course... Of dreams yet to be... Of the legacy we leave... Of amazing, uppity, strong, competant, wise, caring women who united in friendship and shared SINnamon rolls and coffee one recent Monday morning.
concerning expectations met and exceeded
A fine place for feasting if only one be poor enough. One is speedily absorbed in the spiritual value of things. The body vanishes and the freed soul goes abroad...