My grandparents on my mother's side were religious people, catholics to the core. Daily family rosary occurred regardless of whom was visiting their home. They attended Mass weekly if not daily. Nan and Granda gave up certain food items for Lent, observed all the days of obligation, fasted, went to confession, ate fish on Friday, and prayed every morning and night.
Any transgression my grandfather made, such as swearing, Nan said, "You should be makin' your soul, Gus, not at that." Granda always dismissed what Nan said about his soul. He figured his soul was "made" by the work he did to support his family and all the prayers he said throughout his life.
One Sunday last month, I spent part of the morning walking on the boardwalk by the bay. The usual population of seniors on the trail was absent. "Making their souls," I said to myself, hearing Nan's voice in my head as I walked the trail.
There was a time I would have been in church with them. This morning, my cathedral is by the bay,
my choir-the birds,
the congregation-my fellow walkers,
some of whom minister to the animals.
Prayer rises from the sound of the waves as they lap the shore and the trees as they creak and sway in the breeze.
Nature is the sacrament.
As I drive home, I realize I have been "making my soul" today too, not as Nan did, but just as prayer-like in its own way. However, what would Nan think?
Our daughter has one cousin, my niece Samantha. Today is her twenty-first birthday. Have a fabulous day, sweetie. You deserve the best!