Mary Oliver has a new book, A Thousand Mornings. I just got my copy and am already blown away by her new poems. Here's one that seems appropriate as our Christmas collection went to repair Hurricane Sandy damage at Mercy Haven, an organization for the homeless on Long Island run by two sisters who are regular Holy Week retreatants with us.
It didn't behave
like anything you had
ever imagined. The wind
tore at the trees, the rain
fell for days slant and hard.
The back of the hand
to everything. I watched
the trees bow and their leaves fall
and crawl back into the earth.
As though, that was that.
This was one hurricane
I lived through, the other one
was of a different sort, and
lasted longer. Then
I felt my own leaves giving up and
falling. The back of the hand to
everything. But listen now to what happened
to the actual trees;
toward the end of that summer they
pushed new leaves from their stubbed limbs.
It was the wrong season, yes,
but they couldn't stop. They
looked like telephone poles and didn't
care. And after the leaves came
blossoms. For some things
there are no wrong seasons.
Which is what I dream of for me.
The first Ordinary Time Sunday and its Wedding Feast of Cana gospel brought out six of Brother Thomas's pots as the highlight of a creatively-expressed gospel story.
And finally, a note on guests. This weekend we had six students from the Gannon University Catholic House, recently renamed the Trautman House after our newly-retired bishop. An intentional residence, five of them are undergrads and one is a graduate student. They came for an overnight and a day of retreat/planning, etc. It's for groups such as this that I think our hospitality options are such a gift. It's always great to have them.