In the first years I was a convert I was lucky to live two blocks from a beautiful Passionist Monastery and its grounds.This was an urban setting in Queens,New York just blocks from where our President Trump grew-up.I was (am) a city boy and had but grown some potted strawberries and nasturtium on my mother's terrace in Brooklyn. Father Hillary Sweeney,a Passionist priest in his early eighties took a plot behind the garage shed and raised vegetables.He was a jolly smallish Irish -American who came out in early Spring with his farmer's straw hat and I was always walking in the well-mannered garden and surprised to see him digging up a small plot of the neatly trimmed lawn.We got to talking and I became his helper.He was growing tomatoes,peppers,zucchini,celery and rhubarb.He taught me the care of the tomato plants and how to pull off the suckers.We harvested abundantly except for the potatoes which this Irish Priest had little knowledge of. One night I found a cage with his rabbit in it at the top of the garden.I thought that was cool.Father also kept caged Canaries that used to sing in the Monastery hall wondrous melodies.His favorite canary was Guido who sang so sonorously!The next morning I went up the hill to Mass and over to Father Hillary 's garden.The rabbit was sitting in a pool of blood in its cage.I got to Fr.Hillary right away. He came out and said "the poor creature!" He said it was probably a raccoon.I thought to myself ,"Who ever heard of a raccoon in Queens?"But years later while walking near the Monastery there were two glowing eyes in the dark.I went up closer and in the moonlight I saw the beautiful and dangerous marauder! Father Hillary lay in his grave but 100 feet away and maybe he was smiling that I finally believed!
I too have found that sometimes the lessons of mentors can dawn on us long after the mentor has left our world. Your story was a beautiful reminder of this. Thank you.
"But if it's true that the only person over whom I have control of actions is myself, then it does matter what I do. It may not matter a jot to the world at large, but it matters to me." - John Seymour
Many other mentors come to mind.Had a biology teacher, Miss Rubin.She was a graying intellectual fixture in our H.S.She always used classmate roll up hanging charts.I made several for her and her method of construction was unique.
Speaking of mentors, some of us have had or have brothers or sisters who have fulfilled that role. The picture attached is very famous worldwide.It is Albrecht Durer's "Praying Hands".They are the hands of his brother Jan Durer.They were etched in tribute to him. If you note the details of these hands they are beaten and with fingers broken.The Durer family was a family of eighteen siblings. As the mother bore enormous responsibility, the father, a goldsmith also worked eighteen hours a day trying to provide.The two brothers were very gifted also as artists but without money for schooling.One had an inspiring dream that gave the solution; they'd flip a coin and decide who would go to school for four years and who would work coal mining.Albrecht won the flip and in four years he had not only mastered his arts but sold many etchings.The family honored him with a feast at which he told his brother now they could switch.His brother Jan could not toast this because as he said his fingers were so busted and both cried and hugged . Those also serve who wait and suffer; every parent and mentor know this.God Bless all of us who suffer and wait! All Permies can relate to this whether one clears land or labors for harmony.His Grace be upon us!
I carry this gun in case a vending machine doesn't give me my fritos. This gun and this tiny ad:
A rocket mass heater heats your home with one tenth the wood of a conventional wood stove