Sunday, June 17, 2007
Collegium: Day Two: A Fresh Start
We are Marching in the Light of God
June 9, 2007
The campus is beautiful. I get up early, after only three hours sleep, and walk around. This place is lush, the trees are over five stories tall. The trunks are enormous. Flowers are everywhere. And roses, they grow in landscaped areas and they grow wild.
The University of Portland is on a bluff. It is 130 acres of trees, flowers, art.
I walk over to the bluff that overlooks the Willamette River. Behind me is a statue of Lewis or Clark, a Native American guide and their slave/explorer. In front of me is the river. As I look down from the bluff I see a very busy port. There is a riverboat being repaired, a military ship in dock and lots of boats and ships in repair. Beyond that I can look across the river to Forest Park. This is the largest urban wilderness in America. It is three times larger than Central Park and this is a rain forest.
To the left I see downtown Portland and the mountain range beyond it. And then further east there it is, Mount Hood. It is enormous, snow capped and looks like it floats in the air. I call Cathi and tell her what I am looking at and she tells me to stop telling her and to write about it, so I do.
I go to breakfast and meet members of the collegium. They had all been looking for me and are glad I made it.
Then we have a formal lecture and finally we meet with our small group. I love my small group. It is made up of a grad student, a Jesuit Priest, and professors of math, philosophy, social work, geology, business and we have an assistant dean. Not too shabby. Best of all, they are just likable folks.
After lunch, a wonderful lunch, we gather and watch the film, Babette’s Feast. It is a film that shows the impact of sacramental living. It is simple, powerful and I love it.
For our spiritual service we sing African and Caribbean hymns, listen to African drums, steel drums and we dance. We are marching in the light of God! I love this. Then we celebrate Eucharist before supper.
We end the evening with a social hour and then it is off to read. We had lots to read before we got here and now we are given more books. I am no longer hungry but I sure am tired. Still, this has been a wonderful day.