You Night Up My Life

It was a dark and stormy night. The Captain and his men sat around a small flame and his men said, “Captain, tell us a story.” So he began: It was a dark and stormy night. The Captain and his men sat around a small flame and his men said, “Captain, tell us a story.” So he began: It was a dark and stormy night…….

Everyone was up in a tussle Wednesday night on into Thursday because of said “dark and stormy night.” A tree branch decided that no, it did not like the placement of those power lines in front of the church and yes, they needed to come down. So, in the branch’s last minutes of life, it decided to take down Clonard’s electricity along with it.  Of course, this meant our Children’s Liturgy Group rehearsal was plunged into a piano-less, light-less, bathroom-less rehearsal in which one child asked me, “Has the devil come upon us?” I assured her that he had not, because dim emergency lights were popping on here and there and God is light and where God is, the devil cannot dwell. She seemed pretty satisfied with that response and took to staring at the emergency generator lights saying, “shoo, shoo, devil, shoo!

As for our latter Wednesday eve rehearsals, we carted our folders and music and singers up to Teach Bhride for a home rehearsal. In the hurricane-like winds, we stoked up the fireplace and passed around piping hot cups of tea. We are preparing for a joint concert with the Vocare group as Nicole mentioned last week. Man, they just don’t know how lucky they are to sing with such a talented group. 😉

Lucky for our morning mass community that it was sunny yesterday morning, because otherwise it would have been like attending mass blindfolded. It brought a smile to my face to see that the mass goers were not affected by the lack of electricity. They continued to approach the illuminate-a-candle donation boxes, deposit their donation, and press the buttons just the same. Except this time, the buttons did not trigger an electronic flicker of light. It didn’t seem to phase them in the least. The biggest concern of the morning was, however, the tea! There couldn’t be tea if there was no means to boil the kettle! The poor tea ladies just stood outside the day chapel, not quite knowing which direction to walk. As one reader commented, “what are the tea ladies without their tea…are they just, (I’m scared to say it), ladies?” (GASP!) As for the rest of us, we got word in our office that a source of hot water had been found, or perhaps sent down from heaven, so tea would be had after all! Phewf! (Can you tell that our workload has diminished slightly when the big news on the blog is whether we had tea today or not?)

Other happenings of the week included my return from Geneva, Switzerland where I was on a job interview weekend, mucho Confirmation rehearsals (Confirmations for KP and SM are next week!) a visit to a baby sheep farm (alright, go ahead and awww), and a lovely meal with Fr. Martin and Sr. Mary on Wednesday. Nicole brought us into the heart of France with her cooking: Coq au vin, bread avec du beurre (one can never…I repeat never have enough butter), le fromage, et un petit gateau. Ooh! Et le vin rouge. Oops…sorry…must’ve switched languages somewhere in there. Having been reminded that we enjoy French food, butter, and Meryl Streep, we all cozied down a couple nights this week to watch Julie and Julia. From now on, whenever we speak of butter, boning ducks, hollandaise sauce, chopping onions, meaty jell-O molds, or really tall women, we will most likely don a Julia Child-like accent to do so. (It’s started already.)

Finally, for those of you who don’t know, we recently had some very sad news in my family. My adopted sister, Lupita Guadalupe Camacho Ruiz passed away a few days ago due to lung cancer. She had been doing very well for quite a long time and then it suddenly took a turn for the worse, her lungs finally filled with fluid and God took her home with Him to Heaven. The community at Clonard has been immensely supportive and has surrounded me with love, prayers, and support. She is survived by her husband, Guillermo (Willy) and her two sons, Diego (8) and Santiago (6). I feel physically far from my family and from Lupita’s family during this time, yet thanks to the beautiful support in Clonard, I have felt emotionally and spiritually close to everyone across the Atlantic. This morning I felt supremely uplifted as our community prayed the rosary, as we do daily. I lifted my prayers silently to the Lord, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and I felt as if my soul became lighter, cradled by God and uplifted by all the prayers of the faithful.