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My Happy Place

by Sr. Patty Kremer


Most mornings, my day starts between 5 and 5:30 a.m. This is my favorite time of the day. I start the coffee, open all the windows (weather permitting), and feed our dog Cori, the birds and the squirrels. With all these morning tasks completed, the coffee is ready — and I am ready to fill a cup and head to my “happy place.”

Our backyard on Benchwood Road is, for me, one of the most peaceful places on earth at this time of the day — actually, at any hour of the day. All I can hear at that early hour is the timid chirps of the redbirds, the early risers joining me to welcome a new day. As the morning light grows, so does my morning gathering of friends. One by one, tufted titmouse, red and gold finch, blue jays, several variety of woodpeckers, sparrows and, of course, a number of very plump squirrels join me in this sacred space.

Nature has always been an important part of my life. Between the incredible vegetable garden planted by my father and the spectacular flower beds created by my mother, our yard was an oasis. Having two sisters who were biologists only enhanced my already-deep appreciation and respect for the importance of each living thing, plant, animal and all the tiny organisms created by God, yet hidden from the naked eye. As humans we have placed all of the natural beauty that surrounds us in jeopardy. Each day, another sacred species disappears. Sitting in my sacred space each morning is a gift from a most creative and gracious God. As a creature blessed to have been created by God, I am called not only to enjoy the natural world in which I am blessed to live, but also to be an advocate for its preservation so that future generations will be as blessed as I am. God invites each of us each day to enjoy the natural gifts so generously given. All we need to do is give ourselves the gift of time to enjoy and be nurtured by it!

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