07 March 2011

The Novitiate

Amazing as it may be, but there are many whose lives become enmeshed with the school sometimes for years on end who eventually leave without ever having made the short trek to the totally different world that many of us simply refer to as the Novitiate. It is said that this is where the life of a Brother begins; and fittingly perhaps, that this is also where a Brother comes to rest for all eternity after that life is extinguished by He who gave the gift at birth.

Where the school for most of the months of a year is a hive of activity – of comings and goings, of incessant chatter and sporadic laughter and of human foibles and displays of prowess – the Novitiate is its exact anti-thesis. It is hard to imagine that it is no more than a few yards from the concrete walls of the school; yet to walk through its gate is to be embraced by a cocoon of other-worldly serenity.

Whereas in the school, there is nary a corner where peace and quiet can remain unbroken for long by human voices, at the Novitiate it is the silence that immediately cuddles those who walk through its grounds. It is not a total silence though; for even a gentle breeze can rustle the foliage of tall trees that rise up to commune with the blue sky.

Perhaps, too, the sound of feathers fluttering though the air as birds race each other to a twig; or the gentle clicking of insects as they call out to each other from among the grasses or the beds of flowers.

While the silence is stark inside the Novitiate grounds, the colors are loud and a feast for the eyes. When the winds blow, the flowers in the lovingly-tended gardens move in a spontaneously choreographed dance of the colors of life. They are joined by bees and butterflies whose roles in the choreography must never be understated; for it is they who ensure that the flowers will continually bloom so that they can dance in the winds.

To walk through the grounds is to be shorn of all the things that burden most of us who live our mundane lives; for the silence coaxes one into a state of inner peace. To walk with inner peace is to be able to feel the presence of they who rest here; they whose lives once lit the world but who now whisper through the gentle breezes as they walk unseen on this colorful garden of tranquility.

Visiting the Brother Lolo
Reaching Inside for Long-Lost Memories




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