This song ("Here It Goes Again", by OK Go) just happened to start playing when I started writing this post. And it couldn't be more perfect.
I was gone on a Re-Orientation retreat for the JVC in the past week. I was back at the same camp in Aptos, CA, examining my life, again. This time, six months later, I knew my casa-mates better, and a few other JVs, too. It was a time to rededicate ourselves to the four tenants, particularly Social Justice. (In case you don't remember, the four tenants that I have dedicated my life to are Community, Social Justice, Simple Living, and Spirituality.)
There were lots of talks on the Pastoral Circle and the Ignatian method of discernment. (St. Ignatius of Loyola was the founder of the Jesuits and who my casa is named after!) We examined our experiences, social analysis, theological reflections, discernment, and action. We had fantastic prayers held by different casas in the Southwest region, a wonderful homily given by another Sacramento JV, and different activities every night.
And now I'm back in Sacramento, at my job, in my casa. I have six months left. Six months. Six months to deepen my relationships with my community members, co-workers, friends, and guests. Six months to live in this fantastic house, live off of $100 a month, not pay any bills, receive a food box whenever I ask, and be generally protected by almost everyone I meet. I have one particularly protective guest, James, that asks me every day if I have a problem with anyone at the park. If I do, he'll take care of it. Every day my answer is the same- "Not today, James, but I'll let you know." Yesterday, my co-worker Tim and I went to an elementary school to talk with the classes and pick up recycled bikes from their service learning class. The one thing I tried to stress in each class is how well we are taken care of- protected and safe. It truly feels like a family!
So here I go again- and I can't wait!