Besides bicycles, another piece of art on my wall is a print of a painting by Julia Fehrenbacher titled "Beginnings."
It felt like an appropriate picture with which to spend some time as I began my novitiate year yesterday. I enjoyed the gift of much quiet time before evening praise last night when I was welcomed into the next stage of initial monastic formation. In this stage, I am a beginner, a learner, a starter on a monastic journey.
The entire evening (and day leading up to it) was so full of presence; as I reflect there is no one moment that stands out so much more than any others. Yes, there were the hugs I received from each sister. And yes, there were many sweet sentiments expressed in notes and well wishes. And yes, there was a lovely meal shared at the table. But it was the sum of all these moments that made the day so special.
Because of this it is a bit challenging to put the experience into words, and when I thought about it, it felt appropriate to feel that way. As we begin something new, just as when children begin life, we don't yet have the words to articulate our experience.
As someone who loves words, this could easily feel frustrating, but here in this moment, I am okay with it. Yesterday just was, and what it was was the just-right beginning as I continue to articulate who I am by living my monastic journey.
Let us walk in the holy presence.