I sit and watch as shadows flicker under porch hedge leaves, and feel monastic rhythms weave their way into my days, my being, like shadows overlapping—

in, out, in ancient balanced pattern that feels like long unpressured breathing: prayer and meditation and reading of sweet holy words lined in gentle symmetry with work and walk.

I listen to the midday stillness that this season grants sometimes, broken only intermittent by a shushing of rare passing car on dampened road or single bird call, leftover from spring’s noisy joy and summer’s nest cries begging food and other needs, and reflect on the sweet realization: how my times have grown, unknowing, like the ancient ones laid down within sequestered walls long centuries gone.

And I ache with longing to maintain what must be God-made weave scheme after all.

I fear to break the wholesome blessing with any rush out into world at large to fling the shuttle here and there outside the weaving, tangling time as never meant to be.

Is this the secret blessing of the harvest time of life that no one told—perhaps because they never let themselves in on it, but in fear of silence and seclusion, rushed themselves pell-mell busy to mimic youth and fill the empty nest with time trivialities and trinkets that hid the treasure woven in its deeper layers?

How did I happen on that treasure in this blessed place?

I picked up books on days medieval, moved a cursor on a path that wandered ancient byways, branching off from family lines and castle knights’ abodes to side paths still more faint, till in the hours and the rules I found mirrored my own evolving time frame.

And then, then, I read how these rhythms ran in and out in Christian lifelines long before the monastery tried to write them down in stone, and even after that, wove through Everyman/Everywoman’s days and nights.

What have we lost? What have I found? And how can I write down the pattern in my hours, and continue, so not to lose it, to prevent its being robbed away?

I almost long for stone cocoon to guard it like the monastery’s walls. Here’s where prayer can rise with quiet power, its sparkling crumbs to shower out its incense on the needy world as it wends its way toward heaven. Here’s where wisdom can send down roots and restrengthen, bear bloom and fruit to leave to coming generations and to milling crowds beyond the walls.

Lord, please guard the treasure in my heart, guard my hour-weavings from ruinous intrusions. Show me Your quiet way wherein You speak in that still small voice, and keep my life and heart and tongue silenced enough to hear You when You do.


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