Sunday, September 1, 2013

Looking Out to Sea

Since last summer I've had several adventures renewing my spirit and energies before taking up my new ministry as Chaplain at Valley Medical Center in San Jose. In August I completed my 4th unit of Clinical Pastoral Education at John Muir Medical Center and moved to St. Simon's Convent in Los Altos, CA. I moved on August 31 and began my new position on September 1. The hospital is an amazing place and I am so grateful to be a part of providing quality care there. It has an adult level one trauma center, a pediatric level one trauma center, a spinal cord injury center, a rehabilitation trauma center, a traumatic brain injury center and a burn center. Needless to say the need for spiritual care is high and its an exciting place to work. After my first week of orientation, an experience that my Protestant counterpart, Chaplain Larry, aptly described as "drinking from the firehose," I flew solo for a week and then had two weeks off for retreat and vacation. I made a private retreat using the Book of Pastoral Rule by St. Gregory the Great and days at the ocean to renew my spirit. I visited Chicago to gather data for a section of a book I am writing on Devotion to Mary in the Dominican Missions. Then reconnected with family in Concord, NH and friends from high school in Exeter, NH. This image looking out to sea at Hampton Beach is my favorite photo from vacation. Even though it is a marine war memorial, I remember this statue fondly because it is so beautiful. She reminds me of my mother who died twenty years ago yesterday. My mom and dad took me to Hampton Beach often as a young child. I remember the smell of sea breeze, the feeling of them holding me up in the water and the sound of the sea gulls. I remember the fun of collecting and tasting tiny purple periwinkles. Happy memories!