Paying Attention

Paying Attention

by Sr. Sheila Campbell MMM          Ireland            12.02.2023

sunrise resizedAll of a sudden, the mornings are getting brighter and the evenings stretching out a little. At least that is true here in the Northern Hemisphere. But of course, it is not “all of a sudden”. I am just noticing the fact.

This made me realize today what else is going on around me that I don’t notice, caught up in my own dream world. So today I paid attention.

The first thing I noticed is the Sisters I live with. Each one greeted me with a smile and a “good morning!”  I examined my conscience, how often do I pass by without noticing, or giving a grunt as a reply?  Winnie, our receptionist, stood back to let me climb the stairs.  This was the first act of kindness I noticed.  Then, I went to get a cup of coffee and found freshly baked scones.  What a treat!  I remember in Brazil often longing for something like this, but of course, the flour was different, and it never felt the same as the home baking.

Today we had a lot of visitors in the house. They came to Mass and stayed for lunch. I noticed how the Sisters made each one welcome, helped the elderly with their coats, sat and enjoyed their company during the meal. I t made me feel slightly guilty as I scurried away to go back to my office.  But I am grateful that others made the time and effort that I could not do today. Thank God for community life.  Today the priest shared an African proverb. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, take a companion.”  I liked that and am grateful all over again for the companionship of my Sisters.

The evening is closing now.  We have just had a visit from a male voice choir.  They came for Mass and entertained the Sisters for a short concert.  I noticed one of our African Sisters really caught up in the rhythm of the music and swaying her body.  She was enjoying it.  I also saw the pride on the women’s faces as they saw their husbands perform.  It was an enjoyable night for all.

When I begin to pay attention to the small details of life, I realise how blessed I am.  Of course, life is not rosy all the time. I have my moments of worry, anxiety, and sheer panic when a publishing date is drawing close.  But generally, God has been very gentle with me, and I can only stop tonight and say “thank you”.