On Thick Ice

By Sr. Nun Other

Last Sunday, I chose the path less traveled. That is to say, I refused to walk around, behind and through a building to get to my destination. Instead I followed a shorter path. Shorter, but ice-covered. With turtle-like steps, I wobbled atop a good three inches of frozen water. I sometimes wonder where memories come from. Not scientifically, but, why-and why now? My twenty-five yard journey from one door to the other stirred “the memory pot.” As a child, I lived in awe of my older sister and her best friend. We grew up country in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains. They often took their younger siblings on adventures, and in the winter dare devil sledding and ice skating on Hettenbaugh Creek topped the list. One very cold night, we built a small fire on the bank of that creek, and skated beneath a star-laden sky. It was magic created, not digitally or by a list of gifted people whose names are read at the end of a movie. It was melded creation and courage, grounded in trust that we were loved and watched over. No foolishness, mind you, but neither was there doubt we would return home frozen but victorious.

The Community of Jesus

 

 

 

In Times of Plenty

By Sr. Nun Other

I’m rethinking my personal definition of times of plenty. It isn’t about having, getting, or owning.  It isn’t about money or the best of anything. It’s about the presence of God’s love, protection and care.

I’m enjoying a time of plenty and here’s some practical evidence: recently, along with two more sisters (and the generosity of others), I went to Fenway Park. It was a perfect game day, blue skies and a comfortable seventy-one degrees. Our drive to Boston was uneventful until we searched for a parking place. I’m not good in traffic. I sit in the back by popular demand and have to ask the driver permission to speak. “Do you want me to tell you that you almost hit a pole?” That sort of thing. We pulled from bumper to bumper traffic into a lot. The attendant quoted a price ten dollars higher than anticipated and announced they only took credit cards. As sisters, we don’t carry them. Except this time . . Enter God’s love . .  one of us had a VISA Gift Card she’d been given for her birthday. That worked. Next we went to dinner and ordered specialty burgers. I specified that I didn’t want the caramelized onions. When our orders arrived, I immediately noted onions among my mushrooms and Boursin cheese. The waiter noticed also and offered me a new burger. I thanked him but said I’d just pick them out, no problem. When he brought the bill, he told us my dinner was free. We recouped the extra $10 for parking. The game included amazing defensive plays, outstanding pitching and a Red Sox win, more rare this season than last.

Perhaps these sound like small things. Perhaps they are. But right now, for whatever reason, I’m especially cognizant of God’s presence in my life. Work problems, strained relationships, things simply beyond my ability to control rest in his hands. When I admit my need and recognize my complete inadequacy, I grow in faith and trust.

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Fall Classic

by Sr Nunother 

We’ve all seen the crowd shots, a guy in face-paint and crazy hat, hoisting a beer and yelling “It’s the World Series, Baby!”  And then there’s the tortured soul, white-knuckled hands clutched, face twisted in anxiety, awaiting the next calamity. I’m of the latter variety. I follow baseball with great enthusiasm from day-one of spring training to the final out of the regular season. But come October, I’m a recluse that spot-checks scores and turns the light out just before the grand slam. There are sisters — lovely people, really — who emerge only during the playoffs. They’re excited and full of positivity. One approached me asking, “Did you see the home run last night? Oh, we all just screeched!” Screeched. Her word. Glad I missed it. Glad for me, glad for them because — spoiler alert — I would have squelched their joy by informing them the Soxs wouldn’t hold a one-run lead.
 

I can’t quite figure out what happens to me. It isn’t just “gotta win.” Perhaps it’s not wanting to face disappointment, caring too much, or something else entirely. I am sure of one thing. On November 1st, I hope Wally the Green-Monster and my store-bought baseball remain on my desk for a week of celebration. If not, I’ll tuck them away and in a burst of renewed faith proclaim with conviction, “There’s always next year.”

 
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“Four Strikes You’re Out”

by Sr Nunother  

I know my baseball. I know the difference between a splitter and a cutter and what I’d do with the bases loaded and a 3-0 count (look for a fastball down the middle). So I was really happy when I heard sisters’ recreation included a baseball game. Granted, the bat was short, rotund molded plastic, the ball a tennis ball, and the bases different colored frisbees. Still my approach was all business. I pitched, called balls and strikes (unasked I might add) and did my part at the plate. It occurred to me that not all of the sisters shared my purist views when I observed the following play: the ball was hit between first and second, reasonably well fielded by the second baseman, who then tagged out her own team’s short stop as the base runner scampered to third. High-fives all around.  My baseball sensibilities were offended and my mood blackened. Two things occurred to me – they were having fun, I was not. They are seamstresses, teachers, cooks, musicians, gardeners, artists and good sports. I am not. Next week — God willing — I hope to lighten up.

Favorite Places

 By: Melodious Monk

We all have them.  You know, those places where we go when we need time to process, time to listen, maybe even time to wrestle out-loud with God, time to let go of our emotions.  One favorite place for me is our next door neighbors driveway!  Next to the driveway, just on the grass,  is an old rusty rimmed basketball hoop attached to a tall telephone pole.  I like to shoot baskets, always have. This driveway is off the main road, usually quiet, and I used to spend hours here in high school practicing. It’s especially on days when I’m restless inside, can’t find any peace, feel annoyed with everyone, feel so frustrated internally that I don’t know what else to do, or just need a few minutes alone; this is when I like to shoot baskets.  I used to think this was strange, like I should be doing something more “spiritual”.  But I’ve come to appreciate the gift of these unique moments and places where I can talk with God. They feel like they’ve been been created just for me.
 
 
 

Fishing at Rock Harbor

The Community of Jesus is located at Rock Harbor on Cape Cod Bay. Rock Harbor is a tidal harbor, which means that fishing boats can leave or enter the harbor only within a few hours of high tide. Fishing trips can last for four hours (during high tide) or eight hours (between high tides). While we were leaving on a four-hour trip, another boat was returning from an eight-hour trip. I go fishing only once or twice a year, so I especially appreciated this water view of the Church of the Transfiguration and the Bell Tower with the angel on top. Being on the sea was a refreshing expansion of my day-to-day land-bound existence.

Recreation, Capital R

On Wednesday afternoons, the sisters have recreation – as in sports. I recently joined my first volley ball game in four decades.  A younger sister, serving low line-drives two inches above the net, looked in my direction and unleashed another one. I dug deep, summoned my inner athlete, and leaped to meet the ball. Unfortunately, the ball met me, ricocheted off my stomach and out of bounds.  Pride shattered.   I said all the right things – “I’m fine, didn’t hurt a bit, great serve, go team”.  But truthfully? Next week I’m hoping for rain.