Good Zeal

Game day

In what feels like the World Series of Relocation, the Sisters are now up two games to zip after two official days of moving. Day Three, I mean Game Three, is now underway.

I find myself wishing that I could sit in the hallway of 1st Ottilia with a microphone and do a play-by-play commentary of the move. “Here comes Sr. Emilie charging down the first base line, her walker piled three feet high with boxes!” “Whoa! Look at Sr. Lynn Marie drive that cart into deep left field!” “That was an amazing catch by Sr. Tonette, diving into the stands to nab that stray box!” But I cannot comment because I am too busy moving.

Here’s how our transition is unfolding: Sr. Mary works with the professional movers at the site of each room to be moved, directing them as to what to take and where to take it. Sr. Mary Adrian meets them at the receiving end and directs placement of the furniture, working from pre-drawn diagrams. The rest of us are under holy obedience to Stay Out of the Way! – including (and especially!) the one whose room is currently being moved.

Meanwhile, some of us are busy working in areas not currently being moved – either packing, unpacking, cleaning, or carrying small stuff on wagons and carts. Our dining room has been set up with snacks, a jigsaw puzzle, newspapers, and other simple comforts to make the waiting easier when your area is being moved or when you just need a break. It’s kind of like a nun version of a stadium sky box – minus the luxury, but with  comfort enough.

The entire effort is flow-chart organized and clip-board efficient with the kind of detailed game plan that perhaps only nuns and ball coaches could draw up. Sr. Janet Marie and Sr. Tonette are directing the overall effort and overseeing a thousand details and sending the rest of us on errands large and small. Those with special spheres of responsibility, such as Sr. Bernadette in the infirmary, are coordinating those areas. Each elder Sister has a younger Sister assigned to help her as needed with packing, unpacking, and arranging.

But for all the planning and efficiency, it is the simple, unplanned moments that will linger in my memory. It’s like a ball game.  There is the necessary preparation and strategy, but the delight and wonder is in the serendipitous moments that come with human endeavor – the towering homerun from the littlest player, the spontaneous standing-ovation as the aging veteran comes to the plate…or in this context, the brief pause out back last evening as Sr. Bernadette and I looked up at the evening moon. The repeated laughter that Sr. Margaret Mary and I shared as I helped her unpack her new room. Breaking into a broad grin with Sr. Therese as she placed a sack of supplies on the 3rd Ottilia steps in a long-familiar gesture that made both us simultaneously realize that “We’re home.”  And so on.

Watching us settle back into our home is like watching a fly ball settle securely into the well-worn mitt of a favorite player. It is an amazing catch. And it makes me want to stand up and cheer!

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