What joy filled these halls as Franciscan-minded people of all sorts gathered at our house for last weekend’s Franciscan Living Retreat on the topic of Perfect Joy! Sr. Laura Nettles, FSPA, brought to life the relational nature of joy, and I threw in my two-cents’ worth, too, telling a tale of those transformational moments in Cap Corps and in teaching that have helped me glimpse perfect joy. Respect, relationship, love = joy.

Relational joy continues to fill our corridors as the week begins, bringing with it five private retreatants; the weekday staff, and the faithful four who keep vigil here each day and each night as members of the permanent resident community. The simplest of things – sharing a movie and popcorn with Fr. Bob and our two visiting priests from Iowa; admiring the multitude of bicycles in and around the house with Jackie K and Tracy, or discussing what the crickets have to say with Just Bob – become uplifting acts of joy because of the relationship(s) within them.

The crickets, by the way, say that we can expect a killing frost within two to three weeks. Gardeners take heed!

The frost seems late this year. Indeed, no one is quite sure what to make of today’s weather. Warm – almost 80 degrees – and dripping wet, even after the active rain had passed us by. Every window in every wall and door of the house is rimed in warm, heavy mist.These sturdy brick walls have kept us insulated from the day’s mugginess, but we shall see how well they continue to insulate tomorrow. Then again, perhaps the insulating capacity of these venerable walls will not be required.┬áThe forecast calls for rain and lower temperatures, but I’ve not put much stock in this digital prediction. The crickets are probably more trustworthy.

For crickets, for the alive-ness of seasons-in-flux, and for relationships, all praise and thanksgiving.

Deo Gratias!