by Sister M. Faith Cosky
Recently I was sweeping the leaves from my balcony and I got a surprise. As I swept around a pot of Morning Glories I noticed a small sprout of new growth coming from the bottom of the pot. I didn’t expect to find that. After all, it is Autumn- the season of decline for much of nature. As I stared at the tiny sprout I was reminded that it is the autumn of my life too. Yet, there is new life that quietly sprouts up within and around me too.
For some this new life takes the form of volunteering and giving life to others. I recently hosted a “Meet and Greet” for the volunteers in the Spiritual Care Department who take Communion to the patients. As the volunteers shared stories, I marveled at the impact the patients have on them and they seem to have on some of the patients. One particular volunteer, who uses a walker, was routinely bringing Communion to the patients. A week later the nurse sought out the volunteer and told her that she could not get this patient to even try to use a walker. He simply refused. But after the volunteer’s Communion visit he told the nurse, “If that lady can go room to room with a walker than I can use a walker too.” The volunteer had no idea what new life she was bringing to that patient.
My Godmother, my Aunt Mary, is well into the autumn of her life. She recently celebrated her 102nd Birthday. The last time I visited her I asked her what was the secret of a long life? She looked at me kind of puzzled and said, “There is no secret. You just wake up and keep going”. She believes that it is not only God’s will but she lives by the philosophy of “que sera, sera,” whatever will be will be. Her uncomplaining spirit and sense of contentment give life to her days.
Several years ago I heard an interview on NPR which I will never forget. It was after the tragedy of 9-11 and the world was changed. Maya Angelou was being asked about how we can make the world a safer place. She replied that we can practice “everyday kindness.” Simple words like please and thank you and kind gestures can make the world safer because in that moment we feel safe. Hearing of this practice and experiencing it has brought unexpected hope and life to me as well.
As I finished this blog I noticed that there are three new sprouts growing out of the bottom of the Morning Glory pots. I hope I am always wise enough to notice new life in all its forms.