*Names and identifying details have been altered to protect the innocent people who could sue me.

August 4, 2011

Monastery-Gram #1 - the morning

Dear all,

Considering that:

a) there has been some interest, and much confusion, as to what exactly I'm doing as an intern at a monastic farm, and
b) I have not been visiting people much, owing more to the "intern" part than the "monastic" part, and
c) many of my friends and family do not have the ability to tease me - I mean, question me -- via facebook,

momentarily resurrecting the grams-blog seemed like a good idea. Some of these photos were taken in June, some in July, and a few in these early weeks of August. Except for the growth-and-development of the farm's flora and fauna, it doesn't really matter which photo was taken when. I've just sort of pieced it all together to look like one typical day on which I carried my camera around and never actually gotten any work done.**

Which would have been a bad idea because -- and if no one has ever told you this, let me be the first to explicitly state -- there is a lot of work. to do. on a farm.

(**Actually, there were so many photos that I split it up into a couple of posts. So here you have the morning: 5am-9am.)

The view out the front door of the hermitage, first thing in the morning.

Actually, this is really the first thing I see in the morning - our flock of wild turkeys, over 40 strong (7 adults and 30+ babies) pecking, rustling, and coo-ing their way past my windows. What do you call the noise a turkey makes? Cooing? Cackling? Clucking? Whatever. It's annoying, is what it is. (At 5 o'clock in the morning.)

The best commute I will ever enjoy.

Good morning, St. Francis.

Good morning, Duke.

Good morning, coffee.

I often bake in the mornings, but not usually bread for the Eucharist. That was just this once. (And I accidentally doubled the salt, so I probably won't get asked to bake it again.)

We have breakfast on our own, then do dinner (noontime) and supper (evening) together.

When guests are here, chapel services are 4 times a day. When guests are not here, we have chapel three times a day ... um, usually. (Sometimes only twice.)

After morning prayer and breakfast, the brothers have their chapter office, and then I join them for "rounds," to discuss the day's activities.

And then the work begins ...

Except that it doesn't really feel like "work." (Except for maybe the part where it takes me about twenty pulls to get the mower going.) At the end of the day I feel tired, yes, but also calm, and content, and sated. And very, very lucky to have this time, with this community, and in this place.

Much love, and more soon -


  1. Turkeys gobble.

    And they are also annoying when they climb on your roof and look through the skylight into your bedroom - which is also somewhat disconcerting.

    Thanks for sharing - we have been thinking about you and wondering how you were.

    When you do start visiting friends and family we hope you will find time for us - and our turkeys!

  2. Welcome back to blogging! Your photography is beautiful, and your writing is, as ever, a delight.