Today's odd and delightful mixture of meetings and meals reminds me why it's so essential to come back home. I had breakfast with the Sisters (my favorite cereal that Sr. Rose Anna gets for me when I'm back accompanied by a dish of glorious rhubarb sauce that Sr. Joan set out for me), then met with Sue Nies, co-director for our CSJP Associates on the west coast, to talk about ideas for the new Associate program - we opened the Constitutions and Bible and our new magazine, Living Peace, and had a grand time finding resources and making connections.
Then I dashed over to Seattle to have coffee with Lisa Dennison, a good friend from St. Patrick Parish. We talked joyfully over lattes about Ignatian spirituality, the enneagram, our families and a million other subjects. And I dashed back to Bellevue for the monthly lunch of women from the Queen Anne High School (Seattle) class of 1959 - great hugs from some dear lifelong friends and the puzzle of trying to remember what I ought to know about some classmates I haven't seen since we graduated.
Then I drove peacefully back to St. Mary-on-the-Lake where Sister Sukyi Hur treated me to a wonderful hour of acupuncture, massage, and reflexology, designed to strengthen my lungs and soothe an aching shoulder. Renewed, I stopped at PeaceHealth's System Office, in Bellevue, to pick up a reconstructed computer and connect with some fellow staffers. And then I took my nephew Dan Roben out to dinner at The King and I, a long-time Bellevue favorite Thai restaurant.
How could a day hold more than this? Time with friends, Sisters and Associates, family, my PeaceHealth community, food and coffee and conversation, and even acupuncture - what riches! Best of all, I didn't have to stop for a minute to wonder how to say something - I just opened my mouth and English naturally flowed out.
Don't get me wrong - I'm looking forward to going back to my other home in Suchitoto on Saturday, revisiting my Salvadoran friends, basking in the tropical sunshine and continuing the struggle to say it right in Spanish. But I'll go back strengthened and filled by the joys of friendship, community and connection.