Leadership Conference of Women Religious

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November 2019

Reflections Under the Redwoods

by Sharlet Wagner, CSC -- LCWR Past President

I think that I shall never see

A poem lovely as a tree. *

During my first term on the general leadership team I came across a painting of a grove of redwood trees. As a lover of trees, the scene particularly appealed to me. I put the painting on my office wall, and it remained there for my 10 years in office. Sometimes, on the days when everything was just too much, I would walk over to the painting and gaze into it, focusing on the ground at the base of the redwoods. I could almost feel the soft forest floor beneath my feet and hear the hush of the place, and my body and spirit would take a deep breath and relax a little. 

I am currently enjoying the great gift of a sabbatical at the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, and imagine my delight last week when the sabbatical group visited Muir Woods and I found myself in the midst of my painting come to life! A grove of Coast Redwoods surrounded me, the ground was soft beneath my feet, visitors spoke in voices of hushed awe, and I felt my spirit take a deep breath and relax a little. (continue reading by downloading the PDF below)


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