There's no place like home...reflections after a visit

Reprinted from Our Franciscan Fiat
I just got back from spending some days back in West St. Paul, Minnesota. I had been asked to speak at a few gatherings (church youth group, my former professor’s writing class, and a benefit dinner for the youth group). I’m not very experienced in public speaking, except for a small weekly Bible study for our residents and a college class in the discipline over ten years ago, but I thought I’d better do it when asked. While I was there, I also got the chance to go swimming, something I haven’t done in quite a long time. We used to go to the city pool very often in the summer when I was growing up, and I love the water! I had fairly long hair as a girl, and the chlorine took its toll on my prized position at the time (that is, my hair). My mom had to trim the split ends and cut more than I wanted. Little did I know at the time that one day my hair would be very short! Last Thursday, with my short hair, after the fun-filled swim, I didn’t need much shampoo (a short hair cut does have its perks.)

Along with the nerve-racking speaking engagements, I also had the chance to see some family and friends, which was nice. I also saw some former members of the church youth group that I hadn’t run into in years. It gave me a funny, awkward feeling to come back “home” and to realize that life keeps moving on, with or without me. I used to know the ages of all my cousins, neighbors, and family friends, what grade they were in, and so forth; now, we are all young adults with lives of our own outside the family environments in which we grew up. As I’ve moved away and embraced a new life, I’m no longer “up on all the details” as I once was. Although I am grateful for this time of my “home visit” and very much appreciate the people who made it possible (namely my parents and people who filled in back here), I was also very grateful to come back to St. Anne’s in Grand Forks, which is my new home. I felt the truth in the common saying, “It’s nice to go, and nice to get back again.”

Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF

That is a wonderful perspective. Going back for a visit really is nice. It’s great to catch up, gain perspective from the changes, and then to resume with the next chapter.

It’ s interesting how glad I was to get back this time; I guess it might be a good sign when you miss your life and are so ready to return.

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