Summer just recently officially started in the Northern Hemisphere of our world and being that I live in the United States, my summer has just begun. Thank God!! When I think of summer, I think of 4 Rs-rest, relax, re-energize and recreation. The beautiful weather that we in New York State experience at this time of year allows me to experience those 4 Rs.
Many of my greatest childhood memories have to do with some summer vacation activities my family participated in. Growing up in New York City, my mom always made sure I enjoyed certain city events in the summer-Yankee Games, Mets Games, Statue of Liberty, Bronx Zoo, New York Botanical Gardens, Coney Island, Long Beach, Rockaway, the Circle Line etc... But we also always went to the Catskill Mountains where I got to swim, camp, fish, hike, go horseback riding, collect bugs and toast marshmallows over a great big bonfire. Mom made sure I enjoyed my surroundings no matter where I was at the time. It definitely was a wonderful childhood.
As I reflected on these memories, I thought too of our sisters and brothers in the Southern Hemisphere who are experiencing winter at this time. I have great memories of winter fun too-skiing, sledding, making snowmen, snowball fights, hot cocoa and fireplaces. You make the best with what you can. That is how I define character.
I'm realizing that memory making is what assists me in enjoying life!! However, the events don't just stand out on their own- I also remember my friends and family members who participated in these great fun-filled activities with me. The laughter, the jokes, the thrills are what make each one so meaningful for me.
Giving Voice also allows me to have great memories!
The January 20s and 30s Retreat have provided me with so much deep conversation and growth. Our different National Gatherings over the years in Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, and Milwaukee provided me too with great opportunities to reminisce and create new memories with both old and new friends through laughter and tears.
Some recollections include:
- Dancing to 80s music together
- Playing card games late into the night
- Sharing jokes and funny stories
- Making s'mores
- Watching a comedy show
- Sharing prayer and faith with others who understand my age references. No need to explain Smurfette or the game of MASH (Mansion, Apartment, Shelter, House or ending sentences with SIKE)
- Crying with others about the pain of watching sisters I just have come to know and love die
- Learning about the Circle Process which helps me participate more in prayer, conversation and faith sharing.
- Sharing our vocation, formation and profession stories.
- Speaking in nun code-chapter, provincials, discernment, LCWR, our various initial OSU, CSJP, DP, etc...
Memories are so important and so needed in one's life. I'm thinking now of the memories being made by Sister Simone Campbell, SSS and the other Nuns on the Bus!! What a great witness!! Think of the stories they will have to tell!!!!
Read below for opportunities to start making some memories of your own by joining in various Giving Voice gatherings and activities.
Let's keep making memories together! Just think, one day we'll be the older nuns sharing the stories of "In my day..."