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My Big Sister

By Kelsea, SSJD Companion.

We have arrived at the time of the year I think to myself, finally.

Ordinary Time has arrived or is it that we have arrived at Ordinary Time? Green is here again, and as usual it is a great sigh of relief and genuine pleasure to be in this season. The long haul is ahead, but I am grateful to be in this ‘normal’ liturgical time. Of course, every single thing is different this time, and I am privileged to live in a community that can worship together each day. The Sisterhood has revamped their Daily Office binders this year and we now switch our binders out to ones of a different colour according to the liturgical colour for the season. Recently, we went from white and gold for Easter through Pentecost (Christmas is also white but with red – there are way too many binders to not have some colour coding) to green. Holding these green binders at least twice a day is a simple, but gentle reminder of the season ahead.

So, maybe, normal is not the correct word as nothing is normal, but I cannot help noticing I still feel the same way I do every year at this time. A season of walking together. A season where we listen to different stories in Scripture that weave their way in and out of each other, but do not always seem to connect with the readings you heard earlier in the day (if you faithfully follow the Divine Office that is). A season where, in this part of the world, the leaves are lush and Spring has come through all of its stages, ushering in Summer who is just around the corner. A season I often think to myself as being that of the Holy Spirit, or just Holy Spirit, no the, as Sr. Brenda reminded us at Pentecost. Sophia, Holy Wisdom, seems to be dancing all over the place lately. I have heard her in the wind. By the way, what is with all this wind? Being from Southern Alberta, I do not miss it, and am remiss, yet joyful, to have felt it often in North York as of late. Mercurial, indeed. I digress.

She is all over the place. I feel her whisper to me with the early morning sun (much too early sometimes). She laughs through all the windows at different hours of the day. She is swaying through the trees and wandering with the bees. Her feathers are fanning the flowers in the sun and teaching the little ones newly arrived all about the wonders the Earth holds.

Her many names, Ruah or Breath of Life, Wisdom (Sophia), Sustainer, and Sanctifier all speak of her malleable and water-like nature. Nourishing. Rushing, filling; permeating. I like to think of her as a big sister. I have two biological brothers, though many women I consider sisters, so maybe this comforts me a little. She walks alongside me, holding my hand, listening, laughing at my silly games, pulling me in, tucking my shoulder just under hers so she can play with my hair. She is a bit mischievous, this Ruah. She tells me to go places she knows will be right for me, but also knows I am definitely NOT wanting to go… sometimes I win, though rarely. In my stubborn and headstrong nature, she reveals gentleness and sincerity. She shows me the way when I feel that the day is just too impossible to face. She helps me get out of bed and breathe in a brave breath of courage and peace. She holds my hands and coaches me saying, you have done this before. Only yesterday you got in and out of bed, you can do it again. Of course, I think this faithful friend works in the background more often than not. Wisdom in me, speaks to the Wisdom in you. She nudges and nurtures us to and around each other. She gently attracts us to one another, holding community tightly to herself. She values us and the communion we were made to be in.

I believe this season gently teaches us to go forth and carry love to everyone, starting with ourselves. We are called to be disciples, yes, and as much as I rail against the term Christian nowadays, she is teaching with Christ the purpose of our lives: communion. Holy Spirit holds my hand with the Creator and the Word, so that I can hold your hand, and you someone else’s. We have done this before, and this green season calls forth the life we cultivate for ourselves and each other. She is reminding us that we are not alone. She reminds us that we already have everything we need. Have you heard her whispering in your ear lately? Have you seen Christ in the mirror? The Creator in the smallest caterpillar and tallest tree?