Saturday, April 30, 2011

This is Only the Beginning

"Be the person God meant for you to be and you will set the world on fire"-St. Catherine of Siena (Best quote from the Royal Wedding said by the Archbishop of Canterbury in his address to the newlyweds The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the congregation at Westminster Abbey)

Setting the world on fire isn't the easiest thing to do. Oftentimes things get in the way such as life's inconveniences and tragedies alike. But we try and try again despite the energy that it takes to do battle and the hope which sometimes gets lost amid the darkness of the day's events. As our world goes on around us, we can either choose to let it come crashing down and suffocate us or we can be strong and lift ourselves above what is happening to create a light on earth that can be seen by everyone else.

This month, we celebrate a new beginning, another triumphant time of the resurrection, another look into our God-given souls for the love and the trust to begin again, somehow saved from all that would try to extinguish our flames. On Easter, the celebratory candles continue to provide a guiding light into the way in which many of us pursue our heretofore unrevealed destinies.

I feature the photo of these lilies which I'd picked on Easter Sunday from a hill in Transylvania as a symbol, as was with the marriage bouquet of Kate Middleton, a commoner no more, in order to remind myself of all that can be accomplished, and all which should be remembered at this Easter season. We are all uncommon, really, and in that regard, all have the potential to bring to the world our own unique brand of light. Our individual impact is important and essential and when we look into the eyes of others, we can choose to deny that or choose to embrace it as we embrace the air in our lungs.

The folkloric meaning of these lilies is as follows:

It is said to be symbolic of a return to happiness, a purity of heart, a sweetness, the representation of the tears of the Virgin Mary, a completeness, and love's good fortune. The legend of the lily of the valley is that it sprang from Eve's tears when she was banished from the Garden of Eden. Known as the flower of the month of May, it is also believed to be a protector for gardens and living things.

On Easter and in the days and years that will always follow, we can have joy in our hearts for what God has given to us and make the most of what we have in order to bring a spirit and an unselfish gift of ourselves to others.

As a Peace Corps volunteer, that's an easy task. We are given the stage to open the minds of our neighbors and those of ourselves to the differences, the similarities and the wonders that exist far away from the confines and the comfort of what is familiar. We are able to open doors and make strides toward that person that God means for us to be. As Peace Corps family together we go into the future never to be the same again and we can know that we burn bright and have much to be grateful for.

Over the next year after checking in for a bit in the US, I'll also be trying to set the world on fire, with God's help, as I'll now have the privilege to serve as a Peace Corps volunteer once again for an extension of my tour here in Romania. And when Eastertime rolls around again, next spring in my Romanian-Hungarian town, I'll have more to be thankful for, to be proud of, to learn about, and to share with my friends and family around the globe-God willing.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Thoughts on Being Over Fifty... the over-50 Peace Corps:

You, my friend,

Are fifty.

Old enough to-

Speak your mind

Abandon convention

Decide for yourself

Surprise the heck out of them

Welcome your spirit

Be a kid when you want

Worship the sun

Nurture free time

Travel the world

Relish alone time

Feel like a woman

Grab the brass ring

Enjoy being alive

Kick up a storm

Master singing and dancing

And wish upon a star

To follow who you are

At fifty.

Just another day in Paradise

Just another day in Paradise

To Welcome Me to the Biserica


We have surely arrived!

I'm Going to Brusturoasa!

I'm Going to Brusturoasa!
Can't Wait to Meet My New Neighbors

My Wonderful Gazda Family!

My Wonderful Gazda Family!
On the Way to the Party on the 4th