Monday, February 04, 2008

A Spring Day In The Middle Of Winter

It's a wonderful thing to start your work week by driving to work in the pouring rain. Well, at least it's washing the salt and brine residue off my car.

What a great weekend! We had sunny and warm spring like weather. It was a pleasant change from the cold and dreary weather we've had lately. I went to bed on Friday night happy that the work week was over. It had seemed unusually long. I love going to bed on Friday nights because I rarely have a reason that forces me to get up early on Saturday morning. I let my body decide when it was rested. This week my body decided that 10:00 AM was a good time to get up. When I did rise from bed I immediately sprang into action. I pulled together all the ingredients for some homemade chicken and rice soup. I prepared everything, put it all in the crock pot, and let it simmer for the rest of the day. The aroma wafted through the house as I did my other chores. I then prepared another dish for a pot luck at the monastery on Sunday. I like to cook. It is another one of life's simple pleasures. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and you have a meal! The rest of the day I helped my wife and we finally got all the Christmas stuff packed away for another year.

I got up early on Sunday morning and drove to the monastery. I have done this so many times in my life I could probably do it in my sleep. I made my first trip to the monastery when I was still a teenager so I've been going there about 38 years. There have been changes to the landscape and the scenery over the years. Louisville has grown over the years and expanded further and further into the countryside. I usually only go to the monastery once a month. Over the course of a year I experience all four seasons. On a month to month basis I also experience more subtle differences as I drive along the winding roads. Depending on the month there's a difference in the light and the way the sun rises behind the hills and above the trees. Yesterday's morning sun was a bright and fiery orange ball as it slowly came over the horizon and it's light shone through the bare trees lining the hills. Whenever I arrive at the monastery I always feel a sense of having arrived home. There is no doubt in my mind that this monastery is my spiritual home. It is no longer where I live most of my life but the life that goes on there day after day and year after year is mysteriously linked to the life I live in the world day after day and year after year. After I arrived there I saw familiar faces and a few new ones. We had a lively discussion about work and identity. We are not what we do. If we are not what we do, who are we apart from all our doing? What is our identity as individuals? Who will we be...and remain....when the work is done?

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