Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring....New Life...

Does anyone remember that SNL "commercial sketch" Deep Thoughts, By Jack Handy? I loved those! So I thought to kick off this post with a new series: And now Random Thoughts by Sister Katy: (Press the play button on the video screen below)

So yeah, I thought I'd open with some verbal reflections (plus it's playing with my camera). Actually...this is kinda cool. I set up my camera on the bench in our Mama Casa garden and propped it up with my cell phone. And just started take, nothing fancy schmancy (I did make sure that you could see me and not my forehead or adam's apple or something like that).

Embrace the randomness...and the extroversion--thought pop; mouth speak. What do you think? Should the Fun Nun continue the video series of Random Thoughts? Or should I stick to the written communication? Feedback appreciated... :-)

Personally, my favorite part of the video is that the first thing you hear are the birds chirping...I was aware that there were many birds talking while I was in the garden. Way cool.

Ok some pictures and reflection are what I promised and that is what you shall have!

This triptych is of the buds on the tree that is in our back yard. My bedroom window looks out at this tree. I used to have my prayer corner so that I could look out the window. I love seeing the transformation of trees through the seasons. This tree seems to take her merry little time budding every year, but is very nice when she's all green. We get visits by lots of birds to our little backyard tree and Sr. Phyllis is always aware that there is some bird food for them. I love trees.

A little context setting for this reflection...Before I became an affiliate (see Nunspeak); we had to write an autobiography. I chose to do a creative, visual interpretation of this assignment and created a scrapbook of sorts which took my 23 years of life and related different components to the seasons. The seasons and changing of seasons is a strong metaphor for my life as well as an important part of God's creation that I appreciate. I love living in a part of our country where I get to experience all of the seasons. I always LOVE the season that is beginning and am ready when we change. If I had to pick a would be autumn, but I really do love all of them.

For each season/section of my autobiographical account, I began with a quotation and an introduction to what that season describes for me in my life. For winter I used the following quote by Ruth Stout:

"There is a privacy about it [winter] in which no other season gives
you...In spring, summer, and fall people sort of have an open season on each
other; only in the winter, in the country, can you have longer, quiet stretches
when you can savor belonging to yourself."
I wrote the following introduction to my "winter times" (As I reread this...I think...woah...these things are still very true to me):

"Winter is a season of solitude, hibernation, and dormancy. There is a
beauty in the simplicity of nature during the winter; however, days are shorter
and we are deprived of sunlight and warmth which is wearing on those of us who
long for sunlight. For me, winter represents the hard, depressing, and more
negative experiences in my life. As extroverted as I am, my introverted side
shows its face in times of trouble. As the quote states, "...when you can savor
belonging to yourself...," I savor in the hibernation of my "winters." Winter as
season and metaphor provides the necessary balance to the cycle of nature and
life. Winter flows out of the season of transition and has the season of growth
to follow. But as in nature, we have to pass through the winters, whether they
may be long or short, to get to the springtime."
Here in Milwaukee, we made the record books for the 2nd snowiest winter in history. Ironically, it was also the year that I decided to work 45 miles away from my home! I LOVE snow...and I usually am so disappointed that we don't have snowy winters...this winter was a bit over the top. It was Good Friday...our 15 inch blizzard that I said, "enough is enough"...I'm ready for spring.

It has been a long winter for other reasons too...Lent was very difficult for me this year; although I found solace in some of the readings and Lenten music that I haven't experienced before this year. Holy Week was very challenging...and then Easter came, but I wasn't really in the Resurrectiony/Alleluia mood.

I just wanted the sunshine and the trees to start budding and the flowers to start blooming. The warm weather...come just couldn't come fast enough. I did spend my winter hibernating on many levels and although in my reflection of 5 years ago, I used the word "savor"...I don't know that is how I'd describe this winter. And it's also interesting that I remember "belonging to myself" really spoke to me then and now...I have shifted. It's that whole moving from Independence to interdependence thingy that we talk about in this life.

Anyhey-so today...the sun was out and it was 65 degrees. I peeled potatoes outside listening to my Zune (ABBA is great potato peeling music!) and then decided to go on a little prayer walk. Coming out of my own "winter", I wanted to reflect on the signs of New Life.

I was thinking about the resilience of trees and bulb-type flowers (Um..side note...I appreciate very much nature and plants and things...I do not grow them and know very little about them). They make it through these harsh conditions and they always come back every spring. And it's so cool to day there's little green thingys shooting out...a couple days later they are budding...and finally gorgeous, cheerful flowerage. I love it!

I guess we too show resilience in our winter times...I have to remember that there is a spring coming...and NEW LIFE surrounds us.

I love the sounds of spring too. The birds are great, but it's also great to hear kiddos playing outside, families having parties, etc. I caught two of our sisters outside walking too! I think there is such an appreciation to be outside after being all cooped up.

The thing that I think I reflected on the most were these different, tightly protected buds. They already risked coming out of the ground, ready too bloom--where anything could happened! And yet...they aren't quite ready to show their fullest potential I guess. They are so well protected and yet there is a beauty to them in this state too. Of course there is the anticipation of their blooming that is exciting too.

In the midst of all of this happy new life thoughts I started having this whole "What if Litany" What if the flowers worried about blooming? (I know I'm a total weirdo dork, but I embrace it!) Or what if they decided that they'd be better off not blooming? What if it wasn't worth it to come up at all? Of if they have been too weathered that they won't be as beautiful or if they decided not to come back up from the ground at all? Or that they took the risk to come up again and then get lopped off by some crazy lawn mower or had your head bitten off by some squirrel--OUCH! see where my thoughts were today! A little too "down" for my taste...reframing here we come...but nevertheless I was thinking about these things.

I was so appreciative of this time too. It was really relaxing and revitalizing. I know God was speaking many messages to me and for that I was grateful too. I also know that another thing Wisconsin weather teaches us that winter may rear its ugly face another time...but spring and summer will follow; hold'll come.That's the bottom line and sometimes I wondered if "spring" was going to come. I wondered where my place was and what new life (if any) was in store for me. I worried that there was more wintering to come and thought...I can't handle another 15 inches of snow; or negative temperatures; or multiple days without sunshine! And yet today...I was just very aware of God's messages to me. NEW LIFE is all around and even out of the most difficult, record breaking winters--Spring comes. A chance to start over I guess.

Not to my Random Thoughts video...the whole "already bloomed" flowers by Mother Alfons and the whole community thoughts. I guess (and this is an unintentional bad pun) but the community reflections usually have a grounding effect on me. (ba dum dun) It often brings me back to why I do what I do in the first place. That's good...YEAH!

UGH...well at any rate lots to think about and be thankful for. I guess my mantra is "new life is around me...there is possibility for new life...I can bring new life is within me..." Those last two are the ones that I struggle with right now. I guess one of my favorite words plays into this...TRUST that this winter has passed and new life will emerge and unfold in and around me this SPRING!

I hope you enjoyed the photos; my "forced Sensate prayer" was uber fun today....I love play pray time! By the way...this last picture is the greens coming up and that marble slate in the background is Mother Alfons' grave. The orangy flowers are the ones that were the only ones in bloom in the whole garden. Neato!


em said...

I like the video blog! :) I bet there are people who have never heard your voice!

Your photos are great, too!!

Nicole Kramer said...

hola sister katy!!!! I miss you...we need to catch up!

Novitiate Community said...

Katy--Sr. Sarah from St. Louis here. I met you in Milwaukee last year. Great to read some on your blog. Dr. Lex G. sent me a section of one of your posts earlier in the year. Wonderful to know others out there are in much the same place. Hope all continues to go well.

Nicole Kramer said...

I also have a blog site...looked like fun sooooo :)

Joey Kovnesky said...

Hello Sr. Katy!
How have you been?
Can you believe our class is in eighth grade already?
I would like to invite you to our graduation. It is on Tuesday, June 10 at 6:30pm at St. Gregs. I hope to see you there!