Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Keeping It Simple

What did we do yesterday? It just flew slowly by, somehow including a couple of visits to the bread lady, where Monday means baking day. The wood brick oven was fired up (holding 27 loaves of bread at a time! I feel envy and know it isn't a bad thing), the risen loaves in their homemade pottery bread pans, white and wheat, raisin and rye, were beautiful. Oh, and delicious.

While they baked, we took a trip to the Redwoods Monastery down the road. Annette, one of the women monastics there, took us on a short walk in the public spaces (including the chapel, a very Frank Lloyd Wright style of building, and elegantly simple inside as well) and told us some wonderful history of the 300 acres that make their contemplative home.
One of my favorites was how the man who gave the order the property came to buy it himself, back in the 40's. Driving down the road, he saw a man with a saw, just starting to cut down one of the huge redwoods that dramatically grow here. He stopped his car, got out, and asked the man to stop sawing. Then he offered to buy the land, on the spot, and did. 20 some years later, he gave the land to the order and instead of cut redwood stumps, they grow magnificently all over the majority of the property.

She told us about the sacredness of the land, going back to the First People. It truly does hold that tranquil essence that anyone who has ever been in such a place recognizes immediately, tangibly pervading mind, body and soul; where you half whisper for awhile, unthinkingly. Thanks, Annette (I like a monastic who wears layered t-shirts, baggy cropped pants and sneakers, along with being interesting, friendly and quietly funny).

Joseph, husband of the bread lady, mows and helps the sisters with their gardening. He was out in the field but on seeing us coming out, hopped off the tractor to ask us if we'd like to see the gardens. Of course we would! Beds full of tomatoes and onions, lettuces and leeks, flowers and herbs were walked around and commented on. Pointing over to a shade cloth and chicken wire covered area, Joseph told him that one of the woman had requested he build a 'reverse aviary'. He did. Apparently, ravens, pheasants and quail love the gardens too. We let him get back to work with our thanks and I headed back to fight with my computer while Elijah headed out to work on new strawberry beds with El Jefe.

You know when you are trying to do a project on your computer that you are really enjoying but the computer isn't enjoying it at all? And how you might want to throw it down a field into a pond? That feeling led me to take a walk in one of the back fields here, another quiet beautiful place. I didn't have to throw the computer. I didn't have to do anything, really. The weather had warmed, bees were fat with pollen, it was quiet. So quiet.

 And when I got back, there was Nesta, who doesn't need to go too far to get that feeling. The outside couch does just fine. Dinner was spaghetti and clams, one of those easy, trusty 'for old times sake' meals, with freshly baked bread to dip in garlic laden oils. Calm prevailed.

Have a technically-trouble-free Tuesday! Do something tenderly.

No comments:

Post a Comment