Monday, April 16, 2007

Monastery Visit

When I looked at my clock at 7:00 AM on Sunday morning I wasn't too happy. I had not slept well but I needed to get up and drive to the monastery. I was tired and it was cold and dark outside. Why didn't I sleep well? I had a little visitor that stayed all night and who shared my pillow. How could I be upset? One of the last things she did before falling asleep the night before was take my face in her hands and say, "I will always love you, Pa Paw"! Trust me. I do not make this stuff up. Of course, one day last week when I wasn't moving fast enough for her, she also said, "Move your ass, Pa Paw"! I quietly got out of the bed and headed for the shower. I did not want to wake up Chloe. I thought I was successful but I found out later that as soon as I shut the front door behind me, she woke up and asked where I was going. After an expensive stop at the gas station to fill up and get some hot coffee, I headed for the monastery. It was a cold and rainy. Even though the weather was dreary, the land had an element of beauty to it. Traffic was light and I was happy and content with my solitary drive. Soon enough I arrived at the monastery. I was a little early for my meeting so I sat in the dining room, finishing my coffee and looking out the window at the hills across the highway. On the tables in the dining room are small signs that say "Silence is Spoken Here". In the early morning darkness, silence was my language. The meeting went well. The topic was "What is community"? There was good discussion, following by mass with the monks, and a pot luck lunch with those who attended the discussion. By afternoon the sun had appeared and the sky was blue and full of white, fluffy clouds. The drive home was enjoyable. I had my radio on so I was able to sing my off key harmonies with total abandon. When I got home Chloe was still at my house and her parents were there as well. My wife had my son pretty busy with small chores. It was the price that he had to pay for us to keep Chloe overnight. After dinner, when they left, Chloe kissed me goodbye and we also rubbed noses. I am so lucky to have Chloe for a granddaughter. She has added so much to my life. I am blessed.

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