September 28, 2009
After a full day of teaching classes and a tense department meeting that went overtime, I grabbed my bags and jumped into a car with Monking Friend. We talked as we drove through miles of farmland, high up into the hills where the trees are just beginning to turn yellow. We caught up on news, vented stress, and told each other, “I really need this retreat.”
It was getting dark when we pulled up to the stone farmhouse where we’d be staying. I could barely see the white cross on the old barn near the sheep pasture. The bell at the top of the chapel was ringing for compline, the last service of the day.
As I pulled open the heavy wooden door to the chapel, I could smell that familiar musty scent, a mix of incense and melting wax. The monks were already gathered, wearing their dark robes, standing quietly in the candlelight. I slid into my usual spot, a simple wooden bench. Brother Beekeeper caught my eye across the stone altar and smiled. As the monks began to chant, I could feel the muscles in my shoulders begin to relax. It was good to be back.
Posted by jo(e)