February 12, 2007
Monastery in winter
Storm clouds hung over Snowstorm City on Friday, with wind and snow swirling into a fog of whiteness that made seeing almost impossible. But warm inside a small car, sharing popcorn and stories, my two friends and I drove away from the center of the storm, travelling southwest towards the monastery, hoping to leave behind the gusts of snow.
After about an hour, we could see dry pavement. We were travelling though hills of farm country, the fields all glittering with white and gold. By the time we reached the monastery, the afternoon sun was at that angle that makes the sky blue. Big storm clouds kept rolling over the hills and even the steeple of the chapel, but no snow was falling. Deer had emerged to graze on the lawn of the old farmhouse that serves as the women's guesthouse, and the woman who takes care of the guesthouse greeted us at the door with hugs and warm words in her lovely British accent.
Usually when I come to the monastery, my friends and I stay in one of the three separate little guesthouses down near the chapel, but on this trip we were staying in the women's guesthouse, which is perched up on the highest hill. I chose the bedroom tucked behind the old stone fireplace. Most of the guest bedrooms are upstairs, but the Cinderella room is off by itself in the back of the house, with a little window that looks out over the woods. It's small, with just enough room for a single bed, a chair, and a small oak table. I had it all to myself. I love the luxury of my own room. I shoved my duffle bag under the bed, sat down at the little table with my journal, looked out the window at the woods, and felt perfectly content.
Posted by jo(e)