I’ve found that home visits can be a nice opportunity to reflect on one’s life’s journey.
I just returned from a day and a half visit back with my parents in West St. Paul, Minnesota. I had taken advantage of the opportunity to ride with one of my co-workers’ family members on a quick-trip to Minneapolis.
The visit was short, and sweet, and to the point, you might say. Nonetheless, I was able to get in a visit to Minnehaha Falls (one of my favorite spots), wooded hikes with my dad, visits with family and friends, and a long bike ride around my ‘old stomping ground.’
Monday afternoon, my parents had another commitment, and I had a little errand to run. They offered me the use of one of their bikes, on which my dad checked the air in the tires. I took off, then for a lovely afternoon. Biking is a favorite mode of transportation for me since I am unable to drive a car due to my vision.
Not totally unusual for me, I missed my turn and ended up taking the ‘scenic route.’ I made my way back and found my destination without too much trouble.
After taking care of business in there, I headed back out and made my way to Charlton, a main street in the area, which would lead me on my way to St. Joseph’s Church, where I wanted to make a visit to the Blessed Sacrament and sneak in a little time for prayer.
It was like old times, biking up to the church and sneaking it through the doorways. Rather than hassle with locking the bike up, I had long ago learned to stash a bike in the cloak area. (I’ve seen others use this space for their bikes as well.)
This biking and parking experience on a gorgeous September afternoon reminded me of another time I had biked to St. Joe’s Church years before.
I was in quite a different place at that time. Rather than enjoying a bike ride and making a Visit during a brief stay with my family, at that time I was still living at home and had biked up to Church to meet with our pastor.
I felt called to Religious Life, but didn’t know where I should look, what I should do. The meeting with him was helpful. (To this day I am most grateful for his guidance.) At the end, he said: “Where’d you park; I’ll walk you out.”
Somehow, he didn’t realize that I could not drive because of my vision.
At that time, the Church had not yet been remodeled and the best bikers’ parking space was between the two sets of doors off the parking lot shared by the church and school.
I had to answer him by saying “In between the two sets of doors.” I don’t think that was the answer he was expecting. This ‘in between’ mode serves as a metaphor for where I was at on a deeper level.
I am definitely grateful that this time of searching is over, and I have found where I’m supposed to be.
Sr. Christina M. Neumann, OSF