Occasionally we get a prompt from Joan Chittister or Mary Lou Kownacki on the Monasteries of the Heart site. For July we were to write 10 sentences or thoughts about things we are homesick for. Our group meets on Wednesdays and after our book discussion, we shared some of what we wrote. Here is mine:


for the nights when I’d slide down the side of the bunk bed so that I could sleep with Sis.

for the 10 Sisters… The Fuentes Nieves girls and the realization Mom belonged to them more than she belonged to us. I miss them all so…

for snowball fights and walking single file to school in deep snow.. the oldest first in line, making a path.

for the stained glass dome at the old church

for rolling down the hill at the botanical gardens, pitching pennies in the pond there

for summers trips to parks.. riding the roller coaster, the bigger they were, the more we screamed… and fun houses… more screams.

for Abuelo’s farm near the rain forest… first taste of fresh milk, the rooster who never stopped crowing.

for warm sandy beaches, ‘refresco de coco’ and the colors of Old San Juan

for delightful surprises that came with the house on the hill … hundreds of berry bushes … and candles on the bridge…

for showers of cherry blossoms …. the garden left behind…

for church bells that called us home

for church bells that call us home

for church bells that call us

When I was a child there were several churches in the neighborhood and at certain hours of the day one or more of the bells would ring. The bells were my ‘clock’, particularly in summer. I would wake to bells ringing, knew when it was time for prayers, time to go home for lunch… and so on. No matter what I was doing, I’d stop and listen. Many years later the sound of a bell ringing still causes me to stop whatever I’m doing, even if just for a moment. It helps me to not rush along trying to cram in one more thing into my day and to stop, pray, breathe.