On Sept. 29, 2022, as part of the Season of Creation, Sister Joetta Venneman invited Sisters to the courtyard by St. Vincent de Paul Church at Nazareth for a plant meditation. Throughout the meditation the Sisters were asked to focus closely on a specific plant in the courtyard, observing each detail as they were guided through the process. The meditation encouraged the Sisters to examine the environment in a deeper way, engaging their visual memory and working capacity beyond a simple glance.
“We relax into the presence of an ecosystem that is full of life,” Sister Joetta said as she began the meditation with deep breaths.
After observing each part of the plant the Sisters closed their eyes and tried to reconstruct the image from memory. As the Sisters continued, they were asked to expand their focus from specific parts of the plant to the plant’s surroundings, breathing in the whole picture and widening their senses.
“We think we know the plants, but today this has given us an intimate relationship with them to look at them inside and out, up and down, all over. They are so beautiful,” one Sister said at the end of the short meditation. She added that throughout the meditation, the memories of other plants she has seen in the courtyard over the years came to mind. “How glorious it was to come out here and walk around and visit the plants.”
Sisters are reminded that nature meditations do not have to be in the pristine wilderness untouched by any human hands to be meaningful and beautiful. Sister Joetta encouraged the Sisters to connect with plants wherever they are, inside or outside, and continue “listening to the voices of creation” even after the Season of Creation concludes.