Newsletter Spring 2001

We could begin our newsletter by telling you all about the nightly visits of the raccoon on our deck, the coyotes in the orchard, the winking owl in the tree, or just tell you what we know about the habits of eagles. It was a sort of paraliturgy the morning someone spied a brown and white owl sleeping in a pine tree outside our big dining room windows The faithful forgot their coffee and gathered at the window in awe. Speaking of awe, we're told that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching. It waits for the winds to come and then rises on the winds that bring the storm.

Over twenty- five years ago, we planted our first willow tree in a big wet spot on our property. We used to joke that Bill Cody watered his buffalo there. With much grace, the willow has long touched the big sky above. When it starts to turn yellow, we know that it is spring. Robert Frost writes that nature's first green is gold and that gold is the hardest hue to hold. Maybe kindness is the only gold that remains forever.

Some gifts are more fun than others. We received a little pepper mill in the shape of an old-fashioned jug, which we pass from table to table with great delight. Tellicherry black peppercorns came with it. When we turn the little crank on top and see all those little black spots jumping all over our potatoes down below, we feel like we have just invented a new life source. We do have a problem, though. Whenever we come across a new seed, we think that we should be able to grow it in Eldridge, even if it is native to some place like Malabar, India.

We named our sump pump Noah. Because of its watchfulness, we were able to spend more time creating a Mother's Day and a Father's Day "Gift of Prayer" card. Both are quite beautiful. The Mother's Day card has a lovely photo-like soft pink rose on the front. Inside, it reads:

As a special Mother's Day gift, I have asked the Carmelite Sisters of Eldridge, Iowa, to remember you in their life of prayer. I would never be able to put into words how much you mean to me. Thank you for all you are and have been in my life.

The Father's Day card depicts a gentle warm image of St. Joseph holding the Child. It reads:

As a special Father's Day gift, I have asked the Carmelite Sisters of Eldridge,Iowa to remember you in their life of prayer. Uniting with the Sisters in prayer today, I ask that you may know God's love and my love for you. Thank you for all you are and have been in my life.

Now that it is spring, each morning and evening, choirs of black birds cover the trees and religiously carry out their characteristic chants. It seems that they have been influenced by spring's new-life moon which causes rich vibrant juices to rise up in the trees and bushes, not to mention what it does to the human spirit. Bird by bird, "blossom by blossom, the spring begins." (A.C. Swinburne)

We always look forward to Holy Saturday night when we light the new Easter fire outside our chapel doors, under our silent and darkened skies. Even the coyotes are quiet. We promise to pray for you, then. The Exultet hymn asks that the sparks from this fire mingle with the lights of heaven and continue burning bravely. It also talks about the Morning Star shedding its peaceful light to all on earth. This includes you, of course. May that new Easter Light indeed shed its peaceful rays upon you, granting you all your wishes. Know that we pray for you, everyday. We especially pray that all of us will find our own place of Resurrection.

Your Carmelites Sisters,
Eldridge, Iowa

Never miss an opportunity to say something kind.
Honey For The Heart

For more information on Celebration and Memorial cards, see:

Carmelite Monastery
17937 250th Street Eldridge,
Iowa 52748 - 9425

Strong is the soul and wise, and beautiful.

The seeds of God, like power, are in us still. Emerson


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