Quarantine : Reminds me of my life in the convent

To be human is to be active. We moved from one place to another. We explored and discovered new opportunities to make our life worth living.

Then all of a sudden, the world we lived in stops.

Where we  were force to follow rules, with a limited movements. Where we have to buy only our basic needs.

I was 29, when I entered the convent to become a nun.

Although my life before that were focus on working during weekdays and hanging out with my family or friends on weekends.

I rarely do charity work nor engaged in a community in our parish. But going to church and attending mass made my day whole.

Dreaming to become a nun was my childhood fantasy.

And no one saw it coming, neither do I.

But fate and divine intervention lead me to the convent.

The first few days in the community, gave me headache and backache. Taking a rest and staying in bed mostly during the day was a new experienced for me.

But as the days go by, the balance and structure life in the community gave me a sense of security and at ease.

There are common time in every activity. For waking up and getting ready before the morning prayer, liturgical mass, breakfast, exercise. Each day has different things to do, like going to the market twice or thrice a week, gardening on the next day, laundry on the third, and so on.

There’s a time for study and  playing, too.

The alteration and sharing of work load by every sisters gave me a sense of courage that I can be anything I want to be. –

Like how I needed God most in tuning the first line in “O God come to my assistance”, to signal the start of lauds and vespers, when i”m in-charge in the liturgy than cooking and preparing meals to 7 people for a whole week.

Like how to befriend 5 dogs for getting them to eat their food and chase them to take a bath, because they are also part of the community.

Every order is different, like every family is different from the others.

Living a life in the convent is meeting new friends in different cultures and generations, and making them part of your family. Sharing them with the same purpose gave me a sense of hope in humanity.

Just as Somya Kedia says,  “I believe that only humans can save human with humanity. ”

The REASON why

It was my first year in the congregation. The convent was located at the back, inside a catholic school runs by the parish in that area. Before the school was build, the convent is already existed. It was a combination of cement for the posts and floors, and made of wood for its walls. People who visits there says that it looks like a ship inside and out, because of its long hallway connecting the parlor ( a room in a monastery for holding conversations ) area to the dining area. The walls were never painted thus the original color of cement and woods remained. And there’s a century old acacia tree in front of it.

By that time, there were 3 professed (a full- pledge nun who completed and passed the process of formation) sisters and we’re 4 postulants (a candidate, especially one seeking admission into a religious order) living in there.

Our mistress informed us that we have to go to the city to pay our last respect to the elderly nun that had passed away a few days ago. The interment will be on the following weekend, early in the morning. Since the travel time will take 2 to 3 hours, we decided to leave the convent on late afternoon the day before the funeral.

Usually, we leave the light on in front of the convent whenever we go out. But this time, we decided to leave it off.

We came back the next day and we’re greeted by the guard on duty.

And he said to one of the nuns, ” Sister, I didn’t know that you were all left early. What’s the occasion last night? I saw all the lights in the convent were on and heard sisters laughing.”

“If you knew that your life was merely a phase or short, short segment of your entire existence, how would you live? Knowing nothing ‘real’ was at risk, what would you do? You’d live a gigantic, bold, fun, dazzling life. You know you would. That’s what the ghosts want us to do – all the exciting things they no longer can.” — Chuck Palahniuk

P.S. The above story is NOT the reason why I left the convent.