Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bus full of nuns (and others!)



This week the 2018 tour of Nuns on the Bus, sponsored by the Catholic lobby, Network, will come through Erie, on the way to its final destination, Mar-a-Lago Florida.

From their literature: "NETWORK's Nuns on the Bus is hitting the road—for the first time in two years! This time, Nuns on the Bus: the Tax Justice Truth Tour is traveling from California to Florida ahead of the 2018 midterms to focus on tax justice and reasonable revenue for responsible programs. Throughout the journey, Sister Simone Campbell will be joined by 30 other Catholic sisters for the 21-state tour that will end with a Fiesta for the Common Good."

Our prioress, Sister Anne, has been asked to be part of the program at our downtown Perry Square at the Rally in Erie.



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

ROYGBIV VIBGYOR


We get rainbows in Erie. Half a dozen times a year, I'd guess. Usually in spring or early fall and usually in the late afternoon as the sun is setting in the west and as a little rain is passing through. Beautiful, full rainbows in the eastern sky. Wednesday this week was an unusual one: 7:30 in the morning, the just-rising sun caught an early rain and, voila, a lovely bow, with its inverted double, over the western end of the bay, city and lake.

This happens also to be the half-hour when many of us are driving west, into downtown Erie and, therefore, we were treated to this glorious event all the way into work! Another sister and I immediately went to our 4th floor windows, that face exactly the right direction, opened the windows, raised the screens and took pictures. These are the best I could get--enjoy.


The residual enjoyment of the bows was in hearing the comments all day (and evening): "I just knew it was going to be a great day," "I was kind of down, but when I saw the double bow I perked right up," "I think they were just for me, I needed that today," "I finally saw a double bow for the first time." etc. etc. etc.

Genesis 9: 13 "God said...'I set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the Covenant between me and the earth.'"

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Closing up the house



As we hit the mid-October point there is a "closing up of the house" feel to the days now. Our central air is off and heat is on; cardigan sweaters are beginning to make their appearance--even some sweatshirts and long sleeved tops show up in chapel each morning; the feel of fresh air coming in from open windows is gone--replaced by that closed door feeling; the first sinus infections and stuffy noses can be heard; we are awash in apples in every conceivable manner our cooks can think of; the trick or treating hours for the city and surrounding townships were in the paper yesterday and more people seem to be taking soup at lunch! All of these come with the cool mornings, intermittent daily rain and the newspaper announcement that our trees will be at their peak autumn colors this week!

The number of visitors has not changed yet. The guest list that we post weekly was as long Friday as ever. Maybe they are getting in their last car trip before the roads turned "iffy" on any given winter weekend.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Pulitzer prize winning mushrooms

I knew that Mary Oliver had won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for her book, American Primitive but I had never read it or even seen a copy. Lo and behold I now own one.

Also this week, down on the Glinodo side of our property, near the Eagle Scout built boardwalk, and under a grove of very tall pine trees we spotted a whole family of mushrooms. The damp, cool nights of fall are mushroom time for us and they are sprouting all through our woods and under trees such as these.

Here's a Pulitzer Prize piece, along with our own entries to fall's delights.





"Mushrooms" by Mary Oliver:

Rain, and then
the cool pursed
lips of the wind
draw them
out of the ground--
red and yellow skulls
pummeling upward
through leaves,
through grasses,
through sand; astonishing
in their suddenness,
their quietude,
their wetness, they appear
on fall mornings, some
balancing in the earth
on one hoof
packed with poison,
others billowing
chunkily and delicious--
those who know
walk out to gather, choosing
the benign from flocks
of glitterers, sorcerers,
russulas,
panther caps,
shark-white death angels
in their torn veils
looking innocent as sugar
but full of paralysis:
to eat
is to stagger down
fast as mushrooms themselves
when they are done being perfect
and overnight
slide back under the shining
fields of rain.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

October sights



This week I was standing under a large, old maple tree waiting for a ride to pick me up and I was just looking around. At one point I looked up and this is what I saw. Pretty nice, huh?

The days of cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon and a rain shower thrown in whenever it wants continue. We have lots of visitors still--some for overnight stays, others just passing through in the daytime. One man, who owns a small art gallery in a town down in Pennsylvania, came all the way up to Erie because he heard there was a collection of Brother Thomas's pottery here. He was delightful and quite complimentary about our collection--as well as being amazed. We get such a variety of visitors. One sister says, "It seems as if the whole world comes through Erie and the Mount at one time or other!" I agree.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Wesleyville

Thank you, John Wesley. We are into Methodists these days. For a number of years we have had a group of 12-15 Methodist pastors/church personnel with us for 3-4 days for their annual "retreat"....I think it's more a planning gathering, but I'm sure that there is prayer involved, too. They are delightful, every year a little more at ease and we really look forward to having them, (about 2/3 male, 1/3 female). Now, what happened last week? we had a group of Methodist women here for retreat! They were even more at ease, friendly and even came to our prayer. Delightful again!

On the southeast side of Erie, when you reach Bird Dr. you leave the city limits to enter the little borough of Wesleyville--yes, originally a settlement of primarily Methodists--now totally heterogeneous, of course----even to the extent of holding their gatherings at a Catholic monastery. What is this world world coming to?!!!


On the same note of common Christianity, on our trip to New York State this weekend we passed this darling little "church," actually a Mennonite place. Very small, sort of like a wayside chapel. I knew we had Mennonite or Amish nearby, but I had never noticed this little place before: Still Waters.