Starting this Friday, I will not be posting much here until I return to the United States in early July. I am a bit terrified; prayers are greatly appreciated.
However, I would like to say a few things before I leave.
I'm a Catholic. It feels very strange to stand out so sharply from all the people back in my hometown. It feels very strange to see old acquaintances at Mass, wondering if I should say something explanatory or just let it slide. It feels very strange to rush in late to my parents' church's service, fresh from Mass, just trying to be quiet (and to not genuflect or cross myself at any point).
A gentle peace has come over me. Normally, going back to my parents' house is very difficult for me. It tends to draw me into an immaturity I thought I'd left behind. It's been a bit easier this time, though. Going through with my conversion, an act so blatantly contrary to their wishes, has set me free in many ways. Graduating has probably helped as well. In ways I don't begin to understand, the grace of the Eucharist seems to almost carry me. I'm not sure why I'm surprised; that's what the Sacraments do, after all. I wish so much I could give that grace to the people I love, but I can't think of a gracious way to say it without watering it down.
I remain as convinced as ever that this is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened to me. It's a strange state of thankful incredulity. Such a wonderful gift has been given to me! Why has the Lord God chosen this, and this to me? Why me?
Now, switching gears completely...
I am getting quite incredibly excited about my birds. I am planning to get one or two parakeets when I get back.
These are parakeets:
Budgies are incredibly social animals, known to form deep attachments to their lifelong mates. They are very intelligent creatures with a sweet disposition.
Originally from Australia, budgies in the wild live in enormous flocks. Despite their highly social nature, among themselves they are purported to have no pecking order or sense of rank. This is highly bizarre to me, as I've never known a species that had no sense of rank. Dogs, cats, most birds, and even humans do.
But anyway, I love birds very, very much. Budgies are easy to care for and make good first-time birds. I plan to eventually have at least two, as a solitary budgie will probably be unhappy. (Keeping one is not too awful, if you can provide the many hours' worth of daily social interaction the birds require. If you have two, however, they are much happier and do not rely on you to act as their flock.)
So yes, I am very much looking forward to having goofiness of this nature in my abode next year.
Please say prayers that we are all safe! God be with you.