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Surprised by joy - a runner's tale

Libby Osgood, CND

Photo: My new home. Note: these are not my running shoes. 

I write to you now from the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Interprovincial Novitiate for the Congregation of Notre Dame de Montreal. Gosh! What a sentence! To catch you up - I had a 3-day prolonged 'goodbye for now' to PEI, overwhelmed by the love and support from family and friends, packed my boxes, drove 13 hours to White Plains, moved into the novitiate, welcomed family members to NY, officially entered as a novice, and a week later am settling into a routine. I will post later about the grace-filled entrance ceremony and the many changes that have happened in only a week, but was struck by beauty yesterday and need to share. 

I went out for a run last night. It was after dark, but White Plains is well-lit and I haven't been able to squeeze in a run during the daylight, thus neglecting my newly acquired penchant for exercise. Though I regularly ran at night on PEI, this being the big bad scary NY, I was a little nervous, even at a measly 9pm. Gosh was I wrong! 
 
Now friends - I think I moved to Mr Roger's Neighborhood. Every person I passed, and there were many along the well-lit and populated streets, said hello, good evening, and smiled and waved. I don't know if they perhaps were reflecting the joy still emanating from me due to my entrance, but the good vibes I was sending out were all being returned and amplified. 
 
I passed a hotel and the valet in his uniform started running alongside me! We increased our speed until we were sprinting through the humid 70 degree air. He signed off with a 'see ya mommy (ma-mee)'. So much fun!! Though I have a new moniker these days - 'Sister Libby', I definitely enjoyed this friendly fellow's call as I continued on, having never been called 'ma-mee'! 
 
Though I will continue to be careful and run mostly during the day, I have nothing but gratitude for my misconception about this great big city. Where did I see God yesterday? It was in faces of people waiting for the bus after a long day of work, heading down the street from the grocer with their kid, cheerful voices wafting out from the bars and restaurants, and through my new friend who left his own bubble to enter mine for a bit. These two years have surprises in store for sure! 
 
(Any CS Lewis fans who found their way here based on the post title, expecting a full on conversion story, I apologize. But - I love his work so the name seemed apt, and really was taken aback by how surprised I was by my new neighbors in the city). 

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