Being in isolation for almost 28 days now has been an interesting experience. I miss being able to go to the refrigerator and the washing machine and, especially, miss being able to go to the Chapel. In one sense, I miss the interaction with others here, but I am surprised at how quickly I have found joy in the silence and solitude. I have found the days passed very quickly and I have been busy, just doing things here in my room. Our daily "news" arrives with the noon dinner tray and always had a crossword puzzle on the back. Then, I have kept the Psalm Coloring Book on my desk and really enjoy taking a few minutes to color; I find it very centering, contemplative, and consoling for the very act of just pushing the pencil seems to give me deep peace.
I am sorry to be writing so much about my experience of our quarantine, but several have asked how I was managing. I am rather surprised that the solitary meals have been helpful for me. I have reached out to others through cards, emails, zoom, and notes when I could get someone to deliver notes to my sisters here. My sister calls and I am not fond of the phone. I turned the TV on twice and soon turned it off. I am allowed to go walk around our beautiful patio when no one else is out there. I usually manage to go out after the noon meal and maybe just before supper. I do feel that I lack energy and so I am content just to sit in my room. I enjoy the interaction I do have with my groups on zoom and I have found it really helpful to have my students on zoom at the beginning of each week and then each is to be in contact during the week by email. I really think we should be striving to have our Seniors want to be Junior Associates!
This idea of Junior Associates just came to me when I woke up one morning and has stayed with me. I was thinking that Seniors who have loved their Sacred Heart education on looking for more special ways to be part of the Sacred Heart family. Yes, they are now young alums, but we know how hard it has been to continue to gather our students when they leave for colleges all over the United States. But what if the student has made a commitment to be a Junior Associate and promises to take part in a monthly zoom? I am thinking this as I write it, but hope that some of my readers who are associates can see the possibilities and run with the idea. It could be developed in many ways. Here at Sacred Heart Prep in Atherton, the Juniors ask to be admitted to the Sacred Heart Society and these need to be good students who apply; if accepted, they commit to a weekly visit with a Religious of the Sacred Heart to establish a relationship. We try to stay in touch after graduation, but I think becoming a Junior Associate would give a structure for them to continue to grow in the Sacred Heart family.