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I’ve been very conscious here in St. Paul, Minnesota of how the surrounding environment affects the way a task proceeds to its conclusion. I think I must appear to be the proverbial “kid in a candy store” to the six Sisters here with me to finish our committee work. We’re staying at what used to be the novitiate of this province and now is used as a guest house – a huge building, beautifully appointed by a lovely woman named Diane who makes it feel like home – and then some. Walking through the halls and peeking into rooms, I am constantly saying to the Sisters, “Look at this picture!” or “Did you see that beautiful vase at the end of the hall?!” There is so much beauty everywhere that my eyes don’t know where to look first when I walk a new hallway!

Last evening we went to dinner at a restaurant to celebrate the two years of our work together that has been a privilege for all of us. Not only was the food delicious in taste and presentation but everything about the experience added to our enjoyment. Perhaps the best element of all in that environment was Kate, our server. We all agreed on her importance to the meal and upon reflection I realize that all the servers worked as a team, charged with several tables each but aware of all the diners and helping each other as any need arose. Their work was smooth, unobtrusive and cheerfully done and made our meal a real treat.

Sometimes it’s the little things that turn out to be big things when the big things are in process. Beauty, comfort, cheerfulness…so many things can help to set the stage for achievement of a goal. And then what remains is gratitude.