The happy voices of 8th graders resounded across the monastery lawns this afternoon. Here for their annual retreat, the students had conferences, Eucharist, lunch, another conference, and then were set free to embrace the afternoon. Footballs and joyful voices filled the air. Soccer balls traversed the ground. Teachers conversed on benches, overseeing the action. The notes of “chopsticks” emanated from the retreat center piano (not a commonly-played tune in the monastery!).
In the happy exuberance, a soccer ball ended up in the lake and floated away, irretrievable by the students. The floating ball seemed such a joyful image on this beautiful springtime day. With shrubs rejoicing in bloom, youthful voices resounding across the lawn, and birdsong sparkling in the air, it looked as if even the lake wanted to join in the fun and play ball.
Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice;
let the sea and what fills it resound;
let the plains be joyful and all that is in them…