Unexpected Surprises: Part 1
by Sister Alice Drewek
Every summer for the last ten plus years I have been traveling to the Algonquin Highlands in Ontario, Canada for my yearly directed retreat. The summer of 2020 I was not able to do so because the border between Canada and the United States was closed. I then went to Plan B, and in the third week of October I packed my bags and traveled to our vacation house in Delevan, Wisconsin to make my retreat via Zoom.
When I arrived and was unpacking my things, I realized that I did not bring my Bible nor any spiritual books, just my journal. Initially, I felt that I had no starting point, no outside inspiration or push to launch me into the retreat. As I was sitting in the living room gazing out the window the idea of Haiku poetry popped into my mind. Haiku is a Japanese poetic form that consists of three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the third.
What was wonderfully surprising to me was that I did not think about what to write. I would sit and gaze out the living and dining room windows or sit on the screened porch or walk on the pier by the water and the words just started flowing.
Some of my Haiku are only three lines, some are longer. Because I was constrained to follow the 5-7-5 rhythm, it made me choose my words more exactly to convey the meaning I wanted to express. Then there were times when I broke the rules and added another syllable… I called it literary license!
I have a few pictures to go with a Haiku…the words and the picture bring back my experience so vividly and fills me with contentment and joy.