Cuyahoga River

Cuyahoga River
Cuyahoga River in the Valley

Friday, November 25, 2011

Not a Nun, But at a Monastery

When I was at the Sharing Our Gifts retreat in mid-October, Ann South told me not to write about my sabbatical at Mount St. Benedictine’s Monastery until I returned home again, but I'm a journaler. I wrote:  "Sister Jean, who is about my age has long gray hair partially pulled back and wore Native American-style clothing. She showed me all the artwork along the walls and they are blessed with some religious art from South Africa, Germany, and various other parts of the world, as well as a number of bowls, vases, chalises, and other artifacts made by a Father who was given special dispensation to live with the nuns for 20 years so he could create his art, which can now be found in the Vatican and museums throughout the world."

It felt safe and comfortable in my hermitage in the woods, located 5 minutes from the monastery. I left my stuff willy nilly and went out for a walk on a gorgeous, colorful Fall day. I walked past the other two cabins, climbed over the fence by East Lake Road/Route 5, crossed the street and walked a long path down to the beach. I took a detour to walk on a footbridge across a creek and down the path some, but it was pretty muddy, so I went back the way I came to the main path. There was a boardwalk and then an area with benches at the end and no way down to the beach, but I was fine with that. I sat a while there, then walked on the bluff above the shore and found a hideout within some trees in the woods where I sat on a bench by a child’s picnic table and immediately started talking to God. We talked aloud about what my book is about, talked it all the way through, and then I asked God to be with me throughout my time here. I felt the Holy Spirit, and I wanted to cry, and I asked God what that was, that feeling of emotion taking over and making me want to cry, and He didn’t talk, He never does, he just led me to singing “Sanctuary” and “Kum Ba Yah” like a kid all the way back across Route 5 to the old road that leads to the monastery. I walked along the paths outside and in the gardens. I must have taken 20 outdoor pictures to help me remember what I was feeling when I was there.

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