Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Monastery



After a very long day, I have arrived. I am in my monastery. I use my purposefully, for I have been looking forward to this time for about half a year and already feel quite at home. Just to give you an idea, I stepped off the wet ferry onto Shaw Island and waited with two other older women in front of the convenient store to be picked up. The convenient store just so happened to have just baked fresh chocolate chip cookies and it left a scent of heaven wafting through the air as I sat waiting for Mother Hildegard. I know what you’re thinking, but no, I did not get one. A dusty truck came minutes later with a woman in a habit and some other creatures bouncing around in the car. To my delight they were two dogs—Bella and Koko, Portuguese water spaniels who are fabulous.

“Are you ladies gonna get up or you gonna stay here all day?” Mother Hildegard belts as she emerges from her dusty car.   Bella, the black four year old sat up front with me and Mother H while mischievous Koko took over the back seat with the two ladies. Hildegard lives up to her name. In fact, she overdid my expectations. She is a large, boisterous nun who chats away merrily and has a killer sense of humor. I sat in the front and couldn’t stop grinning.

We arrived minutes later to the monastery, which is on 300 acres but has very small facilities. The chapel, all made of wood, is super cute and tiny. There’s a greenhouse with veggies, a garden, fields of alpacas and llamas, sheep, chickens in a coop with a sign saying “chicken heaven,” and a dairy. I also get a bike while I am here. I couldn’t have asked for a better set up. My room has tolerable wifi and is nice and cozy. I am in a guest house with five bedrooms and have one to myself upstairs. I have a desk overlooking a window and my neighbors are cattle.

After eating dinner with the two women and a mother and daughter who are helping cook for the youth group of 30 coming in tomorrow, I had a hot shower and am currently in bed. It’s been a really long day and I’m gonna get some rest soon.