Monday, April 25, 2011
Easter Joy and then Some
This past weekend was Easter Weekend. Prior to this epic weekend was Holy Week, a week of religious ceremonies that I've come to hold very near and dear to my heart since Freshman year of college. Its the four days a year when I feel like I can be overly Catholic with reckless abandon. I feel happier, a sense of Catholic pride, and I'm reminded of when I was confirmed during my freshman year.
This Easter I chose to spend this meaningful time with the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer. I don't know too many people who would be excited to spend Easter with a bunch of Catholic nuns, but these wonderful Sisters are like family to me. Since my parents are all the way in Virginia, and I took my GRE for grad school on Saturday so we couldn't arrange a visit, the Sisters were the next best thing to family. I got to spend time with some of my favorite people, sleep in my old room where I lived for a year during my RMC service year, and just enjoy life.
I love being transplanted. For example, when I'm home on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, I'm suddenly reminded of my roots. I remember fishing out in the bay or eating fried chicken and drinking beer on Cedar Island. I remember catching crabs off the local dock and working as a waitress at the local nursing home. I remember the simplicity of life and the large and elaborate dreams I once had.
The same goes for spending a night in the convent I once lived in. I was transplanted. I remember the joy I felt when asked to do a reading at mass. I could recall how excited I was to start my RMC year. I remember sitting in the chapel, writing in my orange notebook, trying to "discern" what ministry was right for me. I remember sitting in the living room of the convent, going over my expectations for my year of service, simple living and prayer. I remember my interview, when I pranced around the dining room as if I knew all the Sisters my whole life instead of just meeting them for the first time.
The realizations that came to light over this weekend of being transplanted were actually not of any religious nature. I forgot how much I loved nature, quiet and being outside. The Sisters mother house sits on acres and acres of land, with green trees and beautiful rolling fields. Its amazing. When I went to bed on Saturday night I was amazed at how quiet everything was. I forgot how quiet the suburbs were compared to my street corner in the heart of Philadelphia.
I also forgot how much I missed journaling. Lately I've been writing for everyone except myself. I miss nature, I miss writing, I miss quiet moments of meditation, and I miss not having anything to do. I miss having a choice about what activity to do instead of feeling obligated to do laundry, clean my apartment, go to some event or write for others.
And its sounds conceited, but at times we all need to hear from other people just how special we are. This weekend was full of praise and compliments on my reading, my existence, my writing, and my sense of humor. Sometimes we just need to get knocked over by the wave of accolades in order to remember that we are special and we have a lot to offer to the world.
So today, on Easter Monday, I have a bit of an inner peace. I'm done with obligations for awhile and am really going to try to find more time for myself and my personal writing. I'm going to bike along the river and try to explore some local parks. I'm going to do the things I missed and enjoy the things I loved. I'm going to live in the present.
I'm at peace today. I hope its sticks around because its a great feeling.
Until next time...