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I commute to work via the Palisades Parkway (aka the Indianapolis 500 of NY State). The ride never fails to get my heart racing, test my automotive skills, and have me thank God that I have made it through another commute and lived to see another day.

Curiously, at one point about a month ago, I saw an assemblage of small equipment in the grassy median. Looking with disgust at the equipment, I thought, “more paving, ripping down trees, the usual”, but a few days later I found myself pleasantly surprised.  They were actually planting small trees and bushes, quite a few in fact. I am not sure of the purpose of the planting. I am sure it is not for the viewing pleasure of the drivers, just a blur on the race to nowhere. The experience, the new bushes and trees, being held in place with poles and wire, and now blooming, makes me smile every time I see them. At some point, birds will make nests and other animals will find homes in them.  Long after I am no longer commuting and have retired, the trees and bushes will still remain and those that planted them long forgotten. The new life will continue to flourish and create more new life, which is purpose enough for me.


– Patti McCallion, AssociatePatti McCallion

Patti serves as Assistanct Coordinator/Data Management for the Sisters' Office of Mission Advancement. She is an active member of the congregation's Anti-Gun Violence and Laudato Si Committes. Patti is an avid bird owner and nature lover.


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