Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Mepkin Abbey: Even a Monastery Changes

It's interesting to return to a place again and again.  I tend to assume that all will be the same, but even at a monastery, there are changes.

For years, this structure was our lodging--not exactly what you'd expect from a monastery:

But this year, there's a new retreat center.

It had a Zen-like feel that I wouldn't have expected at a Catholic monastery:

Here is a view of the room.

I could stay here and write for days and days!

There's a new chapel at the retreat center, but it's only used for individual meditation:

At first there were no flowers in the chapel that's used for worship.  But by Saturday night, these Christmas flowers appeared:

The wreaths were still up, which is appropriate.  We were there for Candlemas, which celebrates the presentation of Jesus at the temple 40 days after his birth, which in some traditions ends the Christmas season.

And there are new crèche scenes along the pathways.

Once there was an abandoned building:

Now there is a pottery studio:

Here's a close-up of the porch with the wheel:

And I confess that I peeked in a window:

Once the monks sold eggs, and now they sell mushrooms.  But I don't have a picture for that.  Retreatents aren't allowed to wander the farm section of the monastery.

I am trying to take comfort from this view of monastery changes.  It's a week of change at work.  Once I thought I'd be staying in my office for several months.  Yesterday I was told that I needed to be in the new office by Friday.

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