September 15, 2014

September weekend at the monastery

Monastery in September

Saturday morning, it rained. I sat in the little guesthouse at the monastery, watching the water slide down past the big glass window, listening to the drops thumping on the roof. I opened a brand new journal, thrilling at the sight of all those blank pages, and began writing. I drank hot tea, I stared out the window, and I wrote page after page. When finally, I ran out of words, I put on my red raincoat and ran over to the chapel, climbing down the stairs into the crypt lit by dozens of votive candles.

Eventually, the rain stopped. I began the walk I always take, rambling though the barnyard and sheep pastures. The monks had been busy preparing for winter. Tall stacks of hay stood in a row, high up on the hills. The sheep were busy eating the green grasses, fattening themselves up for the long winter ahead. The guard donkey, whose function is to keep the coyotes away from the sheep, wandered over towards the fence. The sun came out long enough to make me take off my rainjacket, the warmth didn't last long. When the rain began again, I walked over to the bookstore, where I knew I'd find Brother Beekeeper. The rain was keeping him from his usual chores on the farm, so we settled down for a long chat.

Guard donkey

September 02, 2014

Labor Day at camp

Goose Bay in August Monday morning, I woke to the birds of the marsh singing outside of my tent. I made my way down to the dock and climbed into my little red kayak, wedging the dry bag that held my camera into a spot between my feet. The water level had dropped as it always does with the approach of all, and the lily pads stood high, curling and flapping in the wind. The great blue heron that nests right at the edge of the cattails flew off as I approached. The kayak glided easily over the weeds and lily pads as I paddled along the edge of the marsh, up to the little creek. I expected to see carp, but the even the pools of water between the big masses of weeds were still. The only person I saw was my father, rowing his little sailboat out past the weeds so that he could take a morning sail on the river.