May 06, 2007

To The Woods

As I unpacked this afternoon I had a bit of deja vu; last Sunday I was unpacking from Gathering the Daughters, today Pat and I unpacked upon our return from White Violet Eco-Spirituality Center on the campus of St. Mary of the Woods College in Terre Haute, Indiana. Two of our sisters, Mo and PB, work at the center and welcomed us generously for the weekend. The Sisters of Providence own hundreds of beautiful acres upon which sit the college, White Violet Center, horse stables and fields, nature trails, gardens, a straw-bale hermitage, lakes, and our favorite--the alpacas. Most of the alpacas are named for persons from the Providence Sisters' history. One of the cutest, however, was named Goose (His father's name was Maverick. How Top Gun fits into the Sisters' history, I'm not entirely sure.).

On Friday, Pat and I drove to Indianapolis to visit with Sr. Jane Edward, another CSJ who is the vice-president of Martin University, a small, liberal arts school which was begun to empower and educate African-Americans in the area. Pat shared that she was present when Martin Center was just an idea scratched out on napkins at the dinner table. It was exciting to see dreams flourishing.

We were back at White Violet on Saturday for "Brunch with an Author." Dr. Daniel Deffenbaugh shared with about fifteen of us his love of nature and church and how we can continue to bring both into greater union in our world. It amazes me how things in life tend to connect: a day on ecology here, a mention in our book there, a weekend at White Violet and soon I can't even shop for spinach without spending ten minutes deciding whether to get the organic spinach packaged in plastic or the non-organic spinach not in plastic! I think the thing that keeps coming back to me though is just how recently humans have been a part of creation. Even the church often thinks back only as far as 2,000 years ago with the birth of Jesus. But what about the 6,000,000 years before that? We aren't hardly even a blip on the radar screen. With all of the persons who have walked the earth, to think that God cares enough to know the number of hairs on my head is unbelievable. I don't think there is a word to describe what it means when I know that God not only knows all the persons on earth, but billions of years of universe as intimately.

I was going to say that after the excitement and travels of the last few weeks, the next couple might seem boring. Then I realized that although I'm not traveling far, there are enough graduations and wedding plans in the mix that the next few weeks may be more exciting than I'm bargaining for. Stay tuned.


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