When I walked into our backyard recently, I was delighted to see thriving the Jacob’s Ladder I had planted one year ago! It was a transplant from my mom’s garden. My delight remained but inwardly, I felt a strong urge to dig up that plant and take it with me on the next leg of my journey with the Sinsinawa Dominicans.
I think religious life, and life in general, can do that to a person now and then. Things to which we’ve assigned value, as skewed as it may sometimes be, become possessions we hold onto with a vice-like grip. Maybe we do that simply as a way of holding onto memories; a way to stay in a sort of comfort zone.
My time in Madison has been such a gift to me … I can’t begin to express my gratitude to God and to my congregation for allowing me the opportunities to study, to live in community, and to have so many wonderful, wonderful people become part of my life. They have left seeds of beauty and roots of joy in my heart – forever! Maybe our role in life, whether as a religious or in another vocation, is to scatter our own seeds of beauty and joy – in a field, in a school, in a workplace, in a heart – making life better for the people we meet along the way. Maybe our lives are simply a series of leave-takings, but always with the goal of leaving behind more beauty than when we entered.
I know my mother would be thrilled to know that a part of the beauty she was has found its way to Madison, Wisconsin. I’m thrilled, too.
How do you scatter joy? Would you consider sowing seeds of joy, justice and peace with us?
Kathy Flynn, Candidate