Comings and Goings

Most days, I work in what is known as the laundry building behind the main monastery.  My commute consists of a one minute walk across the yard.  The upside of this is that I am rarely stressed by traffic or delayed trains; the downside is, I have very little time to leave whatever happened in the morning at home behind as I head to work; or leave what happened at work as I head home. Happily, a small group of people who greet me morning and evening often remove my stress.

Almost every weekday morning, as I walk into the laundry, I am greeted by a chorus of “Good morning.”  The woman who does our laundry has three children who attend the charter school next to the monastery, ranging in age from kindergarten to a senior in high school.  Each of them greets me, and we sometimes share news about our lives–lost teeth, college acceptances, or monastery happenings.  About 3:30 when they’re headed home after school, the six year old often waves goodbye to me through the window, as I sit at my computer in my office on the second floor.

As I head over to the monastery for 5:15 prayers, I pass the St. Joseph Court Dining Room, where the residents of St. Joseph Court are usually  eating dinner after early prayers.  As I walk past the window, many of the Sisters greet me with a smile or a wave–I’ve begun to think of this as my parade of one.

While these are small gestures, they go far to brighten my days and make work seem less tense or home problems less pressing.  At compline–night prayer–we pray, “May the Lord watch over my comings and goings…..” For me, these people are the ways that God does that.