Saturday, June 3, 2017

Mepkin Approaches

A week from now, I will be waking up at Mepkin Abbey.  It will be both familiar and different.

What will be familiar:  the Abbey itself, the friends that I meet there, the long drive.

What will be new:  visiting during summer and being there for an organized retreat, The Power of Story.

I've been there at the end of the liturgical season that will begin after Sunday, Trinity, the long, green time after Pentecost, the season of ordinary time.  But I haven't been there during the summer months.  Will we still take long, rambling walks when the temperature soars?

Luckily there are indoor spaces at the new retreat center where we can talk.  I am anxious to catch up with these old friends, who began life as work colleagues long ago when we all worked at a local community college.  In those days, I was not interested in monasticism and couldn't have even told you that there was a monastery nearby.

Will the gardens be beautiful?  I've found something to treasure in each season that I've visited.

I'll bring a pile of books, real books printed on paper, because that's the way I travel.  I'll bring my laptop with vague ideas of the creative work I want to do.  I'll bring the camera.  I'll bring extra batteries.  What will I actually do while there?

I know that I will take pictures.  I know that I will walk, even if I sweat through my clothes.  I know that I will attend many services in one day.  I know that I will write something, although I'm not sure what (the long drive usually leaves me with lots of ideas).  I know that I will read, although it might be a book that I pick up at the monastery.

My hope is that I recalibrate myself in ways that are important.

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