Wanderings and Wonderings - Sister Meg's Journey

One Word. Gratitude.

By Sister Meg Earsley on Monday, August 15th 2022

This is my humble attempt to tell you about the incredible and joy-filled time of my 50th birthday, but words are inadequate sometimes to express the depth of my feelings, so know that this time was absolutely precious to me and will live deep in my heart for all time.

One word continues to spring up again and again as I reflect on my celebration - gratitude.

My birthday began with a tidal wave of greetings from around the world in my inbox, WhatsApp, Messenger, Facebook, and probably some places I forgot about!

At 5:30 a.m. morning prayer, I was greeted with a note on the altar that said the day's prayer intentions were for "Sister Meg and her community." During the Prayers of the Faithful, Madre Martha prayed for me and my community, full of love and well-wishes.

The dining room was decorated for my birthday with fifty birds for fifty years. Birds were everywhere! They were on the wall, in a "tree" that was created from branches and flowers and tucked away in flowers decorating the tables. A special candle was lit for me at my place setting during each meal. The tables were decorated especially beautifully.

As I entered, each sister greeted me with a hug and a "felicidades!" Faces were bright with smiles and quiet blessings were spoken.

At breakfast, songs were sung (including a specific reference to BIRDS in one), and empanadas were served. Homemade empanadas con queso (with cheese)! And I received more prayerful blessings at the meal prayer!

At lunch, there was music and more singing, more prayers, and at the end of the meal, the biggest cake I have ever seen was brought out while the Bolivian version of "Happy Birthday" was sung.

Tucked away at a table were gifts from the community. Some were personal gifts and others from the group as a whole. They waited for me until the end of the day when I opened them in the quiet of my room as I reflected on the day.

The following day, Santa Clara (the nutrition clinic) group got together for lunch of pica machu, a little more cake, great conversation and dancing.

While there, Sister Yanira quietly gave me a few more wrapped gifts. When I opened them later, I was surprised to see amazingly thoughtful gifts including a handmade card with special photos, scripture and a tree filled with birds. A true work of art. She also hand-painted a bed cover -- some of the birds I've seen here in Bolivia -- and a beautiful pillow with birds accented with my favorite color of purple. She is an amazing artist.

So many other expressions of celebration and well-wishes were had on my birthday. I am sure I am forgetting some really important ones! Needless to say, my 50th birthday will remain burning brightly in my heart for all the love and joy. I have had an overwhelming sense of gratitude ever since. Perhaps that is the biggest gift I received for my big 5-0!

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Sarah Hennessey Says:
08/15/2022 2:10pm
Yahoo! What a beautiful community. Happy 50th!

Jessica Doering Says:
08/15/2022 2:16pm
Happy belated birthday, Sister Meg!

Jean Feeney, Spiritual Life staff at the Villa Says:
08/15/2022 2:40pm
What wonderful expressions of love for your 50th birthday! A message to remind you how precious your presence has become in the community! Happy 50th!

Kris Waite-Labott Says:
08/15/2022 2:52pm
Amazing gifts! My favorite is the hand painted bed cover, she is truly and artist, what an incredibly thoughtful gift!

Patricia Joanne Pintens Says:
08/15/2022 3:09pm
My late 50th birthday greetings Meg. I'm so glad you felt to loved and your gifts and interests (especially birds) made to play such a great part in your day. Feliz cumpleanos (late)!

Jean Dorothy Says:
08/15/2022 4:23pm
A beautiful celebration for a beautiful soul??

Eileen Shaw Says:
08/15/2022 5:47pm
Glad you had such a wonderful Birthday. Shows you the love you give to all is given in return.

Arlene Ziety Says:
08/21/2022 9:04pm
Happy belated birthday. Sounds like a great day. Love to read your "Wanderings and Wonderings". You are a talented writer.

RDFYjolf Says:
06/11/2024 1:10pm

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