IRELAND . .SodaBread . . I expect a cloistered nunnery, but it is a modern tract duplex. Sister Carmel, wearing a plain colorful dress, warmly shows me both sides of the duplex, including a mini-chapel and a guest room. She says, "Our community is four, plus Miriam's mother with Alzheimer's. The other three sisters do social work, politics, and teaching. I feel at ease. Miriam's mother exists in an everlasting present moment. A child drops in to hang out. A local politician meets with Sister Pauline. I meditate in the chapel, feeling a respect for these strong women who earn the rent, and also work in service. We laugh our way through dinner, sharing events of the day. The nuns use a patient, respectful process of consensus while organizing tomorrow's community work and household chores, including mine.

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