In late January 1958 I flew from Sydney to Darwin. It was my first ever flight, daylight and cloudless. The vast spaces that unrolled beneath me took my breath away. No mountain ranges, just countless brown ridges hinting at height and distance, occasionally the glint of a roof in a clump of trees and the meander of a river bed. I was a newly minted nun, teacher’s certificate in hand and onroute to the aboriginal settlement Wadye, then known as Port Keats and I had discovered the wonder and the seduction of Australian space.
That experience goes a long way to explain why I have called my book A Gentle Unfolding. The places and spaces of the Australian landscape are the backdrop of my life experience, and the vocabulary of landscape helps me to recognise how my personal story of place has shaped and given meaning to the way I relate to God.
I’m an ordinary woman, and appreciating my womanliness has led me to trust my feminine experience of God and how women live out that relationship. And while the creedal basics of my catholic faith haven’t changed, how I experience and live them has.
A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning is the story of a vocation that is twisted through with invitations and challenges that have nothing to do with set-aside lifestyles but everything to do with my God relationship.
A Gentle Unfolding: Circling and Spiralling into Meaning will be published 26th August 2018.