During the “sheltering in time” I have daily walked the grounds of Mercy – Mercy Center, Mercy High School, Mercy Convent. This has been home to me for 60 years and known to me for 64, when I started as a Freshman at the high school. Over the years I have awakened to the mysteries of these “oak clad acres”. Mercy, like the thousands of trees growing here, offers shade and comfort. Sitting under, on or near one of these trees I have found support, been listened to, and accepted, just as I am in that moment.
In watching the new life bloom each year in bright green bristles and in the fall see the decay in brown, dry limbs I am reminded of our lives and the normal cycle of living and dying. It was under these trees that one day I realized I was talking to it and sharing who I am. I knew I was talking to God, but God was the tree. That startled me at first, wondering if I’d “lost it”. But with reflection I knew that God is there in nature, calling to me, listening to me, being with me –just as I am. Trees bring me to God, a God who loves and protects me. A God of Mercy who is reaching out to shelter, shade, support and speak to me. – Bernadette Hart, RSM