By Sister Eileen Tuohy, RSHM
Some time ago when the steering wheel of a car was no longer an option for me, the windows of local bus travel were opened up to me. It was a little scary at first, but it’s amazing how many new windows I never thought of were opened up to me. With no steering wheel or dense LA traffic to contend with my eyes could wander and absorb so much I never dared to before:
~ the beauty of God’s world, the trees, the mountains, the floating clouds;
~ the bus routes that took me to so many places in Montebello and Los Angeles I had never been to before. For example travel from East to West LA takes me through ordinary dwelling places, high rise apartments and condos, the downtrodden and destitute of downtown LA, who live in rows of shacks, the long lines waiting for a free meal at a service center.
~ the variety of people who travel by bus, professionals, mothers with babies, wheelchair and handicapped people, school uniformed students – many I recognize form their outfits. e.g. CSHM, Santa Isabel ( our connected schools), athletic shirts of all types.
~ the many languages one hears on a bus – mostly English, Spanish and the Asian varieties.
The window of waiting and flexibility is another part of bus travel. So much extra time has to be filtered in, but then one makes connections with people one never thought was possible, schools, churches, etc. We have more in common than we think.
The window of graciousness cannot be forgotten. Bus drivers are so helpful and patient with questions and directions, with helping the handicapped using the special ramp. So many times I have been offered a seat when I thought I was the younger. I do accept because a kindness offered should be a kindness received.
Sister Eileen Buckley from the EAP did a lot of bus window traveling with me while she was in CA. I miss her adventuresome presence. Maybe Tarrytown has a window of travel for her.
On the bus, reflection and prayer is another window. It makes one grateful for the many positive windows we as RSHM have received. Bus travel makes me see how so many others have to live on a daily basis.
An Irish line of verse comes to mind. “May the sun always shine on your window pane. May the hand of a friend always be near you”. May God fill your heart with gladness and cheer”.
Sr. Eileen Tuohy is currently the Secretary Treasurer for Western American Province.