Hallowed Grounds

Everyday I wake up to, and everyday I go to sleep upon the hallowed grounds of St. Mary’s Academy and College.

Nature Journaling under the Oak on the Quad

It’s a historic campus, with its origin traced back to as early as the 1820’s when the Jesuits were aiding the American Indians temporally and spiritually. Thanks the passage of time and to many of the old buildings, there’s a historic beauty to the campus. The eternal work that still goes on within the grounds adds life to the old stone bones.

Mentoring

Over time I’d like to build a portfolio of the grounds upon which so many men and women, consecrated souls, gave -and still give- their lives to to bring men closer to God.

So, I thought I’d share a few of the works I’ve puttered around doing over the last few months. It’s an optimal time to do such work, especially since the campus is so quiet and deserted.

The WWI Memorial Arch

In each one I’ve learned more techniques and better how I ought to approach the work at hand.

Recently I’ve been learning a lot more about watercolor through Eric Yi Lin’s Cafe Watercolor online course. Eric’s mentor was the great Joseph Zbukvic, the god of the watercolor world right now. It can be very daunting trying not to compare oneself to other so greatly advanced in this art!

Working on the Steps of Bellarmine

It’s been hard to stay motivated through this time, especially this Easter week when everything inside says “Go out and celebrate!”

We’ve gone through Lent, so wouldn’t it be nice to go out for drinks at the local microbrewery? Or go shopping at TJ Maxx? The sullen resignation to try to be respectful to the demands of our authority, says hold off, but somehow the sullenness spills over into even doing that which you crave to be able to sit down and do!

Architectural Highlights on Loyola

But then I try to think of all the good things I have: the Mass and the Eucharist, family and friends, the trails and woods that make up my big beautiful backyard, and the grand front yard of all these historic buildings. I think of how I still have a job and a paycheck, and am grateful for that too.

I think of all those of whom I’ve read about who have some really hard situations -and they are in my prayers – and I am more grateful.

A study on the swirliness of this architectural embellishment

I recall all those stories from hard times how inspiring souls decided to transform ordinary dull situation into unexpected pleasures. For instance, in the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, the story of life on the Nazi occupied English island of Guernsey, one group of friends meets under the cover of darkness to bond over favorite books, and party over potato peel pie -a ‘threadbare,’ yet resilient dessert in those times of rations and deprivation.

That story has inspired a small group of friends to purchase our own copies and have a virtual book club that we can bond over.

It’s also inspired a few ‘vacation’ En Plaine Air painting larks in my own backyard.

Staycation

Can’t go on your spring break adventure? Grab your beach towel, a blue tooth speaker for tunes, a tasty beverage, cool shades, hat, and paints and off you go to paint -or sketch-or -read- on a little piece of green.

It’s kinda like being a little kid again, playing pretend!

Loyola Porch

Earlier this month when I had to be isolated, I even brought picnics down to a pond tucked away in the woods and captured some of the local wildlife. The exotic and wonderful is in every part of creation, just like a flame from a candle is a spark of our great ball of sun.

Catching the Morning Sun

And finally, back to the original thread of thought, I think of the extra time to paint, and read, and visit with those closest to us that this Coronation affords.

Teaching the Cat

With all that in mind, I am resolved to try each day, not to crank out incredible masterpieces, but inch-by-inch, do 1% better each day, going about the projects I’ve set up for myself, and just being happy where the good Lord has placed me, upon these hallowed grounds

.

Thanks for reading; I hope you enjoyed this reflection. Please share, like, and, subscribe to get regular updates!

#coronacation #easterweek #stayathome #curfew #resilience #stayhappy #silverlining


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