Pat and I stayed with Sr. Carol Patron, a member of Pat's reception. Carol has done lots of work in retreat centers over the years, but is currently working at the Sullivan Center in Atlanta, an organization providing monetary assistance and educational programming for the poor. Our meeting was held at the center on Saturday. It was great to meet some of our sisters and associates from the south that I hadn't met before. Quite a gang! One of the sisters had taken part in the famous civil rights walk from Selma to Montgomery (you may have seen her alongside other sisters in a recent PBS documentary). One of the other sisters told a story about talking with First Lady Eisenhower as she and another sister delivered heart monitor equipment for the president after he had suspected heart complications. Lots and lots of stories. A great meeting and great sharing.
After the meeting we were able to visit the gravesite of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife, as well as the Baptist church where he, his father, and his grandfather had been minsters. It was one of those places where the air was just full of all of those who had visited before us in reverence. In some ways for me, like being in the chapel here at Carondelet.
Sunday we did a little sightseeing. We saw the Chattahoochee River and spent some time at Stone Mountain. I love being outside, particularly when the weather is so gorgeous!
After Carol led us in a beautiful blessing prayer this morning, we left around 6:00 to begin the trek back. I will point out, however, that with the switch to Eastern time coupled with Daylight Savings, it felt more like 4:00. Although we gained an hour on the drive, it meant we had to stop and eat lunch at about 10:30 since it had been nearly seven hours since breakfast! But, we made it home safe and sound, and even in enough time for dinner and our weekly community supper and sharing of the heart.
This week will be quite full in anticipation of St. Joseph's Day and the accompanying celebrations. Hopefully I can approach it all with gentleness and joy and let the mystery of emptying and filling do its thing.
For now, my bed is calling.