Monday, August 6, 2012

What a "veteran" does



I’ve had more visitors since Friday, seven in fact. One left today, three leave tomorrow and three will remain. It’s interesting how much the dynamic shifts in the monastery depending on who’s here…something I obviously witnessed drastically with the youth group. Suddenly, I’ve become the veteran around here. Mother Hildegard has taken to referencing me as the “house mother” …which is just hilarious because I don’t resemble anything of the sort. And there I found myself putting lunch and dinner in the oven (ok, they were pre-made by the nuns) and driving off in Mother H’s van to pick up the latest bunch. She better not have meant house Mother. Hmm…

I biked to Washington University’s reserve less than a mile away after lunch and spent a good hour and a half walking, sitting on the ledge looking out into the ocean and writing. Here’s something I felt needed to be on paper:

You can’t take a picture of the glitter on the open sea.
Or capture the snow peaks far off in a haze.
You can’t see the faces of the people on the passing ferry.
Or draw a line through the tops of the trees.
So I’ll just have to sit here for a very long time.
And stare out at all these things a camera could never capture.

Hey dad, after this gig, I’ll just live off of my stellar writing.

I managed to make some of the Vespers service after driving to the ferry and finding out one had broken down and that all of the schedules were haywire as a result. Afterwards, I went to practice my new ritual: piano. I brought my torn out papers from my music book and have been relearning everything we breezed by in class. Mother Felicitas offered me her small music studio in the evenings inside the monastery wall. It’s become such a special time for me.


Another highlight of the day: witnessing my first cow milking. I followed one of the newly arrived oblates and her two children to the barn (ok ran…) where Mother Prioress was sitting milking Claire as she ate hay nonchalantly. It was incredible. As I sat there talking, Lucina, Claire’s calf, came up to the door and peeked her head in. I know this might sound lame…BUT I GOT TO TOUCH HER! I was like a kid. If only I could get one of those Scooby looking sheep next…

After dinner I walked with Anne and Heather, other visitors, to watch the sunset. We caught the end of it, which was still beautiful, and were sitting on rocks by the beach on the reserve when we saw a seal playing in the water.

This is not my life.