The first thing, the very first thing I do when I arrive here at Holy Cross Monastery is walk down to the river, the Hudson River, which lies beneath the Monastery. Bodies of water, any kind, beckon me, but this mighty, murky, river holds a special place in my heart.
Today there's a large barge sitting dead center in the river and I'm wondering what it's doing there, waiting?
I close my eyes, bow my head, and rest, listening, tuning in to the sounds around me, so different from my normal, familiar home sounds. Water lapping, the hum of the barge's engines, the wind rustling through the leaves, sporadically as it blows. It catches me gently, on my face, pushing back my long, straight, hair. It feels tender, sweet, like a special "Welcome to Holy Cross,Danese," kiss from God. I receive it gladly.
Can you tell I'm happy to be here?
The little rocks lining the shore my feet are resting upon are smooth, flat, varying in size and shape, perfect "skipping stones." I pick up one in my hands and rub it against my cheek, marveling at how well water, the pressure of it over many years, has produced this soft finish I can now feel. The interaction, the result.....God. Wow.
I grabbed this notebook randomly from the large drawer in my computer desk, needing to bring additional paper along for my writing pursuits. I open it to see my daughter's writing on the first page.
Her writing is beautiful, artsy. It was an assignment I gave her a couple years ago, during a time she was struggling immensely with her self image. She had to write many times, as many as could fit on the page,"I am beautiful." then, "Beauty comes from within." My first written message received here, but not the last.
Thank you, God.
On the next three pages are pieces of yellow ribbon, ones Lisa had used to measure our new puppy Lily back in 2010. I can't believe my doggie was ever so small, yet it brings back happy memories of her puppy days...... Including a few moments of frustration too, for she has a sweet personality yet is also strong-willed (just like the other females in the family!).
Small pieces of home I am carrying, unexpectedly. Already I feel surrounded by love.
I came with two other potential writing assignments, but knew to remain open to God's leading while here. I told my husband just yesterday I had no plans to blog this time, but, it appears I was wrong.
Rather than bring my camera with me, as I usually do when I come to the river, I carried pen and paper. A divine hint. Less than an hour later I have this written and leave my spot by the Hudson.
I run into my fellow writer, retreat leader, and friend Joan Ball. We spend the next couple hours catching up.Soon it will be time for our evening meal, and afterwards, maybe I'll be sitting in on the writer's group, or maybe doing more writing.
Will share more later!