I am walking into the sun. I am struck with this thought as I am temporarily blinded on my way to the monastery this morning. I am by no means experiencing a dramatic post-resurrection vision like Paul on the road to Damascus; it is just that the sun has been such a rare sighting since my arrival at Holy Wisdom Monastery in early April. It is now May.
Spring is finally here, I think. And after a little over a month I am cheerfully settling into my Sojourner Year (though still arriving over the long term – see my introductory reflection, A New Thing).
Amidst the rain and chill day after day (and visions of the cherry blossoms blooming back East) I do not become too discouraged. I “know” all will be well. In terms of changing seasons of the year, and my life for that matter, I have been assured again and again by observing Nature’s faithfulness. I am also heartened by the community around me as we tell stories of past anomalies in the weather – and the minor or major storms of our lives, which we survived. Though troubled by a longer winter that is delaying the farmer’s need to plow and plant, local Wisconsinites and monastery visitors witness to the resilient human spirit.
The creatures on the monastery grounds join the chorus of hope. On the occasional but rare clear and bright day in the past month, I have observed heightened activity among the trees and on the lake. The birds’ movements seem more excited; their calls more insistent. I delight in watching the ducks take flight from one side of the lake to another, and then cruise down and glide almost playfully across the water’s shimmering surface. I confess that in the moment I imagine the child in me sliding in bare socks across the expansive monastery floor. No, I haven’t done this, and please, don’t you dare me. I do allow a skip in my step for the remainder of my walk across the grass, which is sparkling with a single dew drop upon each and every blade.
I am in sync with my surroundings and all that is aflutter. Wake up! Come forth, arise! See, this is a new day. I Am with you. Sing with Me your particular song. Prayer has gotten into me before I even enter the Oratory, where I join other humans to sing God’s praises.
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.” – Julian of Norwich
(This month during Midday Prayer, Benedictine Women of Madison commemorated the life of Julian of Norwich, the 14th-15th century Christian mystic who authored Revelations of Divine Love.)