Sunday, June 22, 2014

Three Northerners Alone in the South

I apologize ahead of time for pilfering the title of today's blogpost from my friend Roxane who made this comment, but it just seemed too perfect not to steal.  You see, we lost our tour guide as Beth had to leave for a business trip to Washington, D. C., and that left the three of us alone to fend for ourselves for the remainder of the trip. Roxane is from North Dakota and Christine and I hail from Wisconsin...and not one of us is especially good at directions. I am most likely the worst.

We try and rely on our printed Mapquest maps and sketchy GPS signals to meander our way around, but even with that, we often find ourselves traveling out of the way. However, I am very grateful to Beth for guiding us to the Abbey of Gethsemani today. The abbey is a monastery in the Cistercian Order of Strict Observance, located in Trappist, KY




It seemed so appropriate that we attended Terce and Mass on the Feast of Corpus Christi as I was keenly aware of the many souls who have filled this sanctuary and these grounds for the past 150 years. Fr. Thomas Merton is buried on these grounds and his spirit was very present within my soul



 We stopped for a few moments to absorb the richness of these hallowed ground. Beth, Roxane and Christine mapped out the directions to our next destination.


Next we rumbled along winding roads to the Loretto Motherhouse where the Sisters of Loretto reside. The sisters operate a sustainable working farm, and they have lived there since 1824. The sisters rent modest cottages for individual retreats or a haven of rest.

In an instant, I felt as if years of stress rolled off my shoulders, the silence embraced me, and my heart warmed with the souls of my fellow writers.

We had a picnic lunch by Mary's pond, and aside from the many species of dragonflies---we were alone.



                                              Beth and Christina arrange our picnic lunch
            It was a joyous moment for me to witness the hushed giggling between Roxane and Christina.



I was enthralled by these beautiful creatures--there must have been six different species flying around.

Tomorrow we head south once again to Georgia.

Before I go, here are a couple more photos to enjoy



I have to say, that we live in a beautiful country, filled with an abundance of treasures. I think we often forget the richness of our own back yard. We are so blessed

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