Soon the noon day prayer bell tolled calling us to worship before lunch.
This time of year the monks leave the portico doors open which lead to the chapel, so there's a delightful breeze that cools the body as our souls are warmed with prayer. That portico is always a place of silence that I will miss and look forward to returning.
Lunch was like a Sunday--a good dinner with dessert! On feast days and Sundays there is always dessert and the monks remain in their religious habits. They also sit and visit with guests, so it's a good time to get to know them better. I sat next to the beekeeper and with another who tends the gardens just because he loves them. They speak of their chores with delight.
It was a good day and a blessed retreat. I returned to the Collinsville excitement of a fire dance on the Farmington River tonight. Fire and water are both holy and part of Native American sacred tradition. The holiness of the monastery time joined this holiness at end of day. I remain grateful beyond imagination.