I am unpacked and ready to pack down for the night. A brief note before I fall asleep at my computer.
My family and I arrived at St. Michael Friary shortly before 5 p.m. on Sunday afternoon under skies heavily laden. The three other postulants have arrived, too, with their families in tow. We had social time and a brief word of prayer, followed by a dinner rich in fare and fellowship. Parting from our parents and brothers and sisters was joyous and sad, but a leave-taking like this is uncommonly bittersweet. After all, we postulants are making our preliminary break from a natural way of life. This is what we wanted: a grace-full way of life that depends explicitly on that grace to be sustained. It's wonderfully liberating, but, even within the blessed surrounding of Gospel brotherhood, it is also fearlessly solitary. You can already feel the kind of emotional poverty that friars embrace.
Now we are all settling in for the beginning of at least a week of orientation: the four postulants and the the four friars in residence. Outside it has been showering and softly thundering all over the city. Inside the friary all is calm. We are ready, all of us are ready.
Life is always full of beginnings. Such is life -- beginning, becoming, and renewing. I have made my goodbyes. I am very good at making ends, at finishing. This is not all there is to life. An end is itself a beginning. Life is beginning again, and it is beginning at last.