Saturday, December 18, 2010

Feliz Navidad

Greetings from VERY FROZEN Michigan!

I’m not having any trouble realizing that I’m not in Nicaragua. All I have to do is feel my nose and fingers and I’m convinced. Now, just why would someone leave Nicaragua at this time of the year when the temps are 68 - 89 and the skies semi-cloudy and the breezes balmy?? I don’t think it’s necessary to answer that justifiable question.

I hadn’t planned on blogging while I was home in the States but I find that I miss not staying in touch, so here I am! Many of our sisters and other friends comment on the blog and how much they enjoy hearing about the ventures and adventures of this blogger. It’s a great way to stay in touch and to link south to north and now I’m linking north to south.

I am very aware of the Advent season here and grateful that this year we have four full weeks of this season. It’s a beautiful time to reflect and to try to stay focused on the real reason for all this anticipation and preparation, while at the same time enjoying the Christmas preparations all around.

You’ll be glad to know that my snow/ice driving skills kicked back in immediately and that’s a very good thing as it’s a real challenge these days. Fortunately, MOST people are using common sense and driving slowly and not hitting brakes unnecessarily….however, there are THOSE OTHERS….so one must keep all eyes, ears and nerves on “the others” while at the same time navigating one’s own vehicle.

I was sorry to have missed Purisima in Nicaragua, the national day for celebrating the Immaculate Conception of Mary. I spent that day in Cleveland having my personal interview with a member oaf our visiting Vatican- appointed team. All went well, as far as I could determine. It was so good to be with my sisters at our center where I’m pretty well known as the ‘cow lady’ and/or the ‘chicken lady’. This year the Leadership Team of the congregation is sponsoring four sets of five chickens plus one rooster as their Christmas gift to benefactors and co-ministers. For the last two years it’s been cows. Diversity is good! I have been a member of this ‘greatest community ever’ for the past 54+ years and it’s always gift to be able to spend time with my sisters. I just missed their lovely snowfall of 12-14 inches. On the west side of the city, we only had 4 inches.

I’m getting ready to betake myself to St. Louis where I’ll spend Christmas with the other half of my family having spent Thanksgiving with the Michigan family. When I return I’ll head to Cleveland for a week of silent retreat. Oh, I do look forward to that time each year. Then it will be time to head to Chicago and on to Managua. I should land back in the land of lakes and volcanos on the night of the 19th if all goes according to plan. However, I’ve enough experience under my belt to be open to whatever comes my way. Will blog again when I’m back in Nica land.

The translation of the Christmas greeting which is from all of us at Cantera is:

“Let us sing to peace and solidarity among peoples. Let us sing to the women, men, girls, boys and youth who are building a new world. ---- Constructing dreams and utopias.” (Cantera’s vision)

Blessings to each of you for a peace-filled and joy-filled Christmas Season and for a 2011 bringing us closer in love, compassion, solidarity and peace with each other, wherever we are in this world.

Love and Gratitude from your sister, Jeanne.