Its been exactly a year since I came to Asha Niketan. Most of you know, I've decided to continue in the community for a second year. I've been blessed being here in so many ways. First of all there is so much I'm learning each day sharing life with the core people who make up this community, and those who choose to be assistants here for varying lenghts of time. I'm especially learning from the core members how I am more than body and mind, and trying to make connections with my heart. I've also been blessed by encountering others associated with the community.(Did you know I met the artist who did the stations of the cross paintings at St. Stephen's Chapel? And BTW Anugrah thanks for searching out that information on the little brothers of Jesus and the lovely poem.)My discovery of the little brothers and little sisters of Jesus has been very exciting. Br Mani who 'accompanies me' has just moved with two other brothers to a poor area of Bangalore.To me their lives are very close to what you, Cheryl and Anugrah have decided to live with your neighbours in Junta Colony.
Oh! And another great thing about being here - especially now that I'm more house bound - I'm reading a lot of very interesting stuff. Lots I'd like to share with you, but for a start here is something that especially speaks to this virtual space that we share...its about what the physical space 24rr actually is to all of us... its from a book someone just gave me called 'A canopy of stars' by a Christopher Gleeson SJ, who was head of two Jesuit school communities in Australia. The book talks about the common sky and stars that we see that remind us that 'however apart, we are together...' something like seeing the common strands in the journeys we are making beyond 24rr ??!!
So, here's this bit on family that I leave you with...
A family is a place
to cry and laugh
and vent frustration,
to ask for help
and tease and yell,
to be touched and
hugged and smiled at.
A family is people
who care when you are sad,
who love you no matter what,
who share your triumphs,
who don’t expect you to be perfect,
just growing in honesty in your own decisions.
A family is a circle
where we learn to make good decisions,
where we learn to think before we do,
where we learn integrity and table manners
and respect for other people;
where we are special,
where we listen and are listened to,
where we learn the rules of life
to prepare ourselves for the world.
The world is a place
where anything can happen:
if we grow up in a loving family we are ready for the world.
(I'm thankful each day for a family that supports me and takes keen interest in the journey I'm making. Thank you for the questions you ask, the advice you give or don't give, the ways you accompany me from afar with letters, phone calls, and of course this blog!!! as well as the times you have chosen to come and physically be present with me here.)