This summer feels like it is just flying by. It is probably not flying by for the incoming postulants. I know that until 2 weeks before my entrance date, the summer felt long. (In the last two weeks, it seemed that the summer came to an abrupt end.) What would I say to an incoming postulant? Pack a little at a time. Try to pack as little as possible, but definitely bring personal things like photographs and things for your favorite activities. Know that we have enough books here to last you a lifetime as well as things for crafts and sports. Spend quality time with loved ones. Have fun, and enjoy the moments. Take comfort in knowing that your hobbies can continue, and so can the relationships you hold dear. Know that hundreds of sisters pray for you daily. Try to increase your time spent in prayer a little bit, perhaps by going to mass more frequently, or by reflecting on the mass readings for the day. Don't worry about anything.
Life in the novitiate has been peaceful and fun. We are busy, but there is a calmness in our life. Sr. Isabelle and I are getting the hang of sacristy and kitchen work, and we have been involved in projects. We got to go to a local farm and pick strawberries. The first time we picked strawberries, it was for jam, and the second time it was for strawberry pie. The pie was delicious, and I had some jam on my toast this morning and loved that too.
We are also working really hard on putting together a patio for all the sisters to enjoy. There had been an empty plot of concrete next to the novitiate. It overlooked Sr. Caritas' garden as well as Silver Lake, so it had a beautiful view, but it wasn't so pretty itself. So, the novices last year with the help of Sr. Elizabeth Ann, put together a proposal to the Council to make it an enjoyable and pretty place, it it was approved! Sr. Elizabeth Ann calls it the Sacred Garden. I've also heard it called St. Therese's Terrace. I like both names. I am learning a lot about gardening and I love it. Here is a picture of Sr. Pamela Catherine and I putting together the trellis. Now we just need to figure out how to hold it in place on the concrete! St. Joseph the Carpenter, pray for us!
We also finished the iconography class. When they are ready for the display in the cafeteria, I will take a picture of them for this blog, and write more about the meaning of the icons. I definitely have a deeper appreciation of them!
Now we are taking a sewing class. It's really fun. Yesterday, we made pin cushions and today we are going to lay out patterns for aprons. The temporary professed sisters are making skirts. I was happy to notice that I retained some knowledge of how to use the sewing machine.
It is amazing how many opportunities you have to learn new things and develop new hobbies as a sister! Lots of old favorite activities continue as well. A gentleman across the lake had a wonderful fireworks display. We had a flag ceremony, played volleyball together, had a water fight, did sparklers and ate burgers from the grill. It is cool that you don't have to give up that stuff when you join the convent. Life is good.