by Sr. Jo Anne Kelly MMM Ireland 25.08.2022
A suggestion this month is to write about my favourite thing, favourite anything. There is so much goodness and beauty in life I have so many favourites. But I do love the wind and I love a windy day. The wind speaks to me of openness, freedom freshness and abandonment.
As a child on a windy day I loved to go out into the middle of a field, loosen the plaits in which my mother had carefully put my long hair and let the wind take my hair in all directions. It was thrilling and I wished that I could fly. I had no words then to explain how I felt. But I did know that it was going to be painful to sit in front of my mother with her brush and comb, with hair being pulled and tugged to try to remove the tangles and get it back to some kind of tidiness. But it was worth it.
As I sit in our lovely garden now with its variety of beautiful trees and watch the wind whipping through them I am reminded of the quote in St. John’s Epistle. “The Spirit blows where it wills, you hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going, and so it is with everyone born in the Spirit. And we are all born in the Spirit.
Later in life I learnt something of being open to that Spirit. I was in my first mission, doing the work I was trained to do and happy doing it. One day I got a letter with a new assignment to a totally different kind of work for which I felt ill-prepared and very inadequate. This was not in my plan, and perhaps it was the first time I really became aware of being led by the Spirit of God. That change of direction opened up an unexpected and wonderful new world for me, not without the pain of tugs and pulls and sorting out of many “tangles”. But again it was worth it.
There is a wonder and a wildness about the wind too, a wildness that takes us beyond what we know, what we can see. I love the quote from Pope Francis “Don’t let your horizon be so close that it becomes a fence.”
Now in my older years I sit in our lovely garden and enjoy the wind playing in the trees, tossing and turning leaves, swaying branches back and forth. I am aware of how many people, especially our young people, are giving away their freedom and becoming addicted to drugs, alcohol, gambling and other fleeting pleasures. It is so very tragic. I recently spoke to one of our deacons in the Church, a married man with a grown family. I was interested to know why he chose to be a Deacon. He told me he is an addiction councillor. He had come to realise that it is extremely difficult for anyone to get free of an addiction without having a spirituality. They need to have Faith in a Higher Power, and he wanted to learn more so as to help them more.
So I watch the seagulls spread their wings and glide along, carried by the wind. I pray for all those enslaved by addiction that they come to know the only way to freedom is to stand out, open to the Spirit of God. May they allow themselves to be carried along by the strength of God’s Spirit, the God of Surprises.