Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Staying in Balance

Home > Blog > Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Staying in Balance

Sister Ann Marie Wainright – Staying in Balance

Being a New Orleans native, I had not experienced all four of the seasons until coming to Duluth. Since arriving here in February, I watched the trees on monastery grounds change from snow-covered to barren branches that yielded tiny green buds. Soon the trees were covered with leaves, flowers and berries. As the weather cooled with the approach of fall, the trees were aglow with fiery reds, oranges and yellows. The trees know instinctively that a long, cold winter approaches and prepare for it with naked courage. Only one or two stubborn trees still refuse to give up their leaves, or their berries.

Barren Tree

Human beings are a lot like those trees still hanging onto their leaves. We glory in the springtime and summer seasons of our lives, but resist the inevitable process of letting go of prosperity, vitality and growth. In the heat of the growing season of our lives, we forget that the dormancy of winter keeps us open to God’s graces. The trees seem to know what we discern only with difficulty, that:

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a
time for every affair under the heavens. A time to
be born and a time to die; a time to plant, and a
time to uproot the plant.” (Eccl. 3:1-2)

Even as the trees surrender their leaves, the tiniest germination of next spring’s leaves is taking place deep within the trees. The trees need rest from the frenetic growth of spring and summer in order to bloom again. Fall and winter provide a renewing balance to spring and summer.

St. Benedict understood the need for balance when writing his Rule. He understood that living on the extremes neither promoted the growth of the individual person nor supported the monk’s search for God. Work is a gift allowing us to co-create with God a world filled with the power of God’s love, peace and life. Prayer roots us in God, the ground of our being, and allows co-creation, growth, and renewal to take place. When we do not stay centered and balanced in God, we risk becoming barren and unable to manifest God’s goodness in our lives.

The trees can teach us a lot about balance.

Barren Tree by, and courtesy of, Peter Griffin.



Sister Ann Marie Wainright

Sister Ann Marie Wainright is a Benedictine Sister of St. Scholastica Monastery in Duluth, Minnesota. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, she worked as a CPA for many years before earning dual masters degrees in counseling and pastoral studies. Sister Ann Marie is interested how people encounter God in their daily lives and how they use their faith and spirituality.



Posted in Reflections, Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Recent Posts




“Is there anyone here who yearns for life and desires to see good days?”