Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Thomas Merton Hermitage, Valle Crucis


A lot of expectations for one week.  Major inspiration.  Deep rest.  Some sense of how best to begin a Christian mindfulness blog.  Discovering the best pace for silence, speech, walking, sitting, eating, rocking on the porch, playing around with recorded chant as part of morning, noon, and night prayer.

Bless the sun for waking me up at six.  The little cluster of hermitages at Valle Crucis is anchored by it’s svelte chapel, St. Anthony’s, facing east like tradition invites.  What a gift to stroll outside to see this little speck of the world coming to light.  Two or three birds sing.  A windchime answers.  Trees near our hermitage porch sway as the morning begins to breathe.

When good strong tea is brewed it is also a gift to sit down to read of the other kind of awakening, “Although the experience is special, it does not happen to a special person.  It happens to any of us when the conditions of letting go and opening the heart are present, when we can sense the world in a radically new way” (Jack Kornfield, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry).

Gracious God, a season of busy-ness has stretched us thin, a vision of a quiet mountain retreat has enticed us, a good night’s sleep has refreshed us.  The day awaits.  We are here.  You are here.  Amen.