I am learning that there isn't really a time-frame for homesickness. While my homesickness significantly decreased within the first week, it still hits me every now and then. Like when I am driving/riding around Manitowoc, noticing how starkly different it is from Grand Rapids. Today I not only did that, but I also spent some time looking across Lake Michigan, noticing more than ever how one cannot see the other side of the lake.
What do I miss? Everything. Even the things I took forgranted: car horns, people yelling in the street, protesters of the war downtown, people praying on street corners, sirens, hearing the train, buildings, overpopulated squirrels who eat human food, etc. Yet, life in the country has it's perks as well. It's actually dark at night. Truly dark. There's no streetlights that make me want to close my blinds, and I am sure that if I thought to do it, I could go outside and look at the stars. Wow, I need to do that! I also can open a window at night without worrying about who might use it as an entryway. The country comes with it's own sounds, it just takes longer to notice them. Most of the time I just hear silence, but when I stop and pay attention, I hear birds singing, I hear the leaves on the trees, I hear Sisters laughing together in the distance. Some day this will become my new "familiar."
One of the nice things about being Catholic is that the mass is the same wherever you go. The nice thing about believing in God is that you know that as many things change in our lives, God remains constant. I have been hearing that so many times while I have been here, and it's very comforting. I don't know if I've been hearing it at the Liturgy of the Hours or at Mass or what, but it always gives me peace. Probably Liturgy of the Hours. Wow, I did not know I would love the Liturgy of the Hours this much. Before coming to the convent, I hadn't paid much attention to the book of Psalm. Now I look forward to praying with them! It's my new favorite book in the Bible. I just love how honest the writer(s) of the Psalms are. They express the full range of human emotions, and are very frank and real with God. It's incredible.