Sister Jeanne Vander Bloomen

Vander-Bloomen_Jeanne_Sister100pxThe Redemptorist Retreat Center was my destination the first week of August. My instant inspiration was the majestic oak trees with thousands of acorns that bordered the beautiful, winding driveway. God, Creator, was truly present.

I reflected on the mighty oak tree and its fruit, the acorn, which started as a small seed. So did I! Each acorn pushes itself out of a hard notched crust. As the acorn grows, it goes through color changes -- green to brown to bronze. When it is ready, it falls to the ground. The squirrels go crazy! In a whirling dither they dash here and there munching and then burying acorns for the coming winter. How do the squirrels remember where the acorns are? Gophers like acorns, too. It was precious to see them sitting on their backsides with an acorn in each cheek.

God, Creator, knows my growth pattern, too. I have gone and will continue to go through many changes and colors. However, I don't think I'm ready to fall to the ground. During retreat , I "munched" and "stuffed my cheeks" with silence, talking with God, with the Eucharist, sacrament of reconciliation, stations of the cross, nature walks and the witness of 22 dedicated religious Sisters also on retreat. Did I listen? Did I store up something for the winter of my life? Like the buried acorn, time will tell.

Retreat ended with the Emmaus story. It was a wonderful ending to drive out that beautiful, winding driveway having my heart burning within me to spread my arms like the majestic oak tree with acorns full of promise.