My Sojourn – My Gift

I’m writing “My Life Story” and today I came across this poem. I wrote it in 2007 when I did my sojourn in the Maritime Provinces:

My Gift

To the top of the hill, I walk each day,

A relationship they say

Is needed for a Blessing to stay.

When half way up,

I turn around and look back down,


“Queen Anne Lace”,

A needle prick of blood inside,

Reminds me of mortality.

The yellow flowers

Look like stars, they nod sometimes

And seem to smile.

Today as I walked to the top of the hill,

An idea popped into my head!

I’ll pick some flowers and take them back

To the sisters and their sacrament.

I went about with happy joy,

Plucking and pulling and arranging them,

Until I met a stubborn one,

I pulled, I tugged,

He wouldn’t budge.

Not noticing and moving on,

I pulled and twisted till out she came

Lacking in passion I am not

Sometimes though compassion lost.

Beautiful flowers at my feet,

THANKYOU for a lesson taught.

© R.f.c. Aug. 13, 2007

It was most definitely a gift to stay at the beautiful St. Joseph Renewal Centre in Mabou, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.  The sisters were more than kind.  I stayed there for three weeks and was treated like family.  The day I left the nine sisters of Notre Dame got up early and waved me good-bye. I will never forget them or their gift of hospitality and welcome. After returning home after my three-month sojourn on the Maritimes the first Christmas card I sent was always to those dear sisters.

St. Joseph’s Renewal Centre closed Oct. 3, 2018 when the dwindling number of sisters were down to three from the nine when I was there in 2007.  An article in the Cape Breton Post – “It’s a major loss to the community.  They’ve done so many wonderful things – they’ve taught in our schools, and been a major part of our community…after 131 years (1887-2018)

See the hill behind the retreat centre, the sisters called it a mountain. I had great fun telling them it was a hill. I enjoyed walking up it everyday.

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