Black and Blue Serenity

40 Days of Prayer for Laudato Si’
October 4, 2021
Sister Ursula Jay, OSF
October 19, 2021

by Sr. Mary Thill, OSF


Unwittingly, perhaps not,

The squirrel feeds the ducks

As it drops acorns

From the tall oak tree.

It’s a yellow day in the park,

The breeze is gentle and cool

And there are a few folks

Walking, jogging, skating, biking.

A raucous edger

Cuts the air nearby

And tarnishes the beauty

Of the serene, green moment.

A lawnmower joins in the fray

And I fear the beauty

Of the yellow day is bruised

By the black and blue noise.

People often tell me how beautiful and peaceful our lovely Motherhouse campus is and how fortunate I am to live here.  I agree… until the lawnmowers, edgers and blowers show up on Tuesdays.  Our peaceful home is disrupted by what I call the black and blue, bruising noise that comes and goes all week long and especially on Tuesdays.  Today some folks would call this disruption “noise pollution” and is considered part of the Ecology Movement Challenges along with all the other parts of the planet that seem to be affecting our lovely home.

It’s really nothing new because I remember taking Music Appreciation when I was a student at St. Clare Academy and we had noise issues back then in the late 1950s.  Sister Jeanne Marie would prepare us for the classical music piece she was going to play on the record player (real technology back then) and inevitably, Fred Smith, one of the four maintenance employees on the campus would come by on the one and only lawnmower and accompany Wanda Lewandowski on the harpsichord.  Back then we just smiled and snickered and waited until the noisemaker drove away after completing his task.

I wrote the poem above while I was eating lunch at Olander Park in Sylvania a few years ago.  It may be true today as grass and trees and roads need to be kept up to a certain standard.  It’s what we consider normal to keep things neat and tidy and certainly safe and healthy.  I do, however, wish that the black and blue noise could be more limited and even silenced on a regular basis.  Even as I write this blog I hear the lawnmower outside my window.  It must be Tuesday!

Sister Mary Thill

Sister Mary Thill has been working with elders for almost 50 years.  She was the Administrator of Rosary Hall when it became the new home for the retired Sisters.  She designed the Gerontology Program at Lourdes College and taught there for 22 years.  She recently retired from being a Patient Liaison to Elders at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center, Toledo.  Sister Mary is currently assisting in the Sisters’ Archives where she is learning more and more about the legacy of the Sylvania Franciscans and how to enjoy life as an Elder.

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