Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving (careful...I wax eloquent)


I wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope everyone has a day filled with family, friends, and fun. Wherever you are, know that you are in my thoughts and prayers today. Thanksgiving has always been about the celebration of hearth and home for me. It is a time to get together with Community whether it be Sisters or Family and share life together.

I will be joining the sisters in a trip to Sr. Marica's family gathering for dinner. It is very kind of them to invite me along to the family celebration, but I'll admit my heart is with you. I am taking time today to remember some of my favorite things about thanksgiving...
  • Mom cooks the dressing with the turkey and there is this wonderful dark crunchy bit around the edges of the pan. We all vie for it at home.
  • The Thanksgiving meal at the Monastery is served family style and we seem so much more aware of each other and willing to jump up to refill platters and cups. Time seems to slow down a bit over the meal as well, no one is in a hurry for a change.
  • The VanDenHemels sit back and relax after the dishes are done. We tell tall tales about family stories while 'picking the bird' for turkey soup that night. Well, all but Dad, who is 'watching' either a western or a football game with his eyes closed.
  • Prayer at the Monastery Chapel...I love the way our chant sounds in the open space of our upper chapel. There is a beauty in the simplicity of our space and sound together.
  • Either Wednesday or Thursday night often becomes a 'game night' for the 'young' sisters. I love playing Scattagories, Taboo, and Cranium with the patio crowd while we laugh at each other's stories.

To counteract this bout of wishfulness, I've been remembering what I have to be thankful for no matter how far I am from Home and Hearth.

  • There is a great deal of beauty in the snow on the trees by the lake.
  • A beautiful new niece: Hope Jean.
  • Franciscan support in my learning endeavors here at the house.
  • "Life is Good."
  • A Community of prayerful support to welcome me home at Christmas break.
  • A Family of loving care to welocme me home at Christmas break.
  • The gift of a warm meal and bed with a shelter over my head.
  • The realization that there is a wisdom that comes with age
    (compared to the 'young' college folk).
  • A comfort in the prayer and pattern of our life together.
  • A joy in the notes, letters, and packages from home.

Now, I must return to Larabee, Anyon, and Kliebard as I tear apart my former curriculum in light of the damage social mobility has done to the democratic ideal of equal access to education. Yes, I'll have some fun today as well, but I started the day with Ora at Mass and now I need to complete a bit of Labora before the fun begins.


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