Friday 1st. Record-breaking heat had our friends the swallows slowing down a lot. It was striking to see them standing almost still, on the wire and notice again how different their shape is from that of other birds.
Saturday 2nd. Some neighbours agree that birdsong before dawn has grown to sounding a bit as though it’s from some place exotic to us. Might be birds that have lost their habitat elsewhere. Early in the spring I saw one species new to me.
Sunday 3rd. Corpus Christi is low-key here, compared to some places; but in any key it is one of the most heart-warming days of the year. Brother Henry was by. We talked at the lunch table, and conversation went from Magnetic Hill in Moncton to Ferris Wheels in New Jersey, to roller coasters in Toronto. Father Roger once rode ‘the Flyer’, the CNE’s famous (around here, at least) wooden-frame roller coaster.
Monday 4th. New crosses were trundled out to the cemetery; looking good on the little wagon. Looking a little ominous once taken down, perched behind the crosses they’ll be replacing. It is not hard to imagine some gruff monks we knew and loved smiling with humor at it all.
Tuesday 5th. Brother Léo reported a good night’s sleep last night. Dom Innocent is continuing to organise his new office; a new printer is on the way. Each successive superior uses the office their way, personalising it in the process.
Wednesday 6th. Chicks arrived in the chicken barns Monday, and today a pipe leaked in the big barn; so once it was stopped some of the bedding had to be removed, and fresh bedding brought in: fine shavings from a sawmill. Fresh feed was put out. It went smoothly but was a gradual process which our employees handled with great patience. The chicken feed, starting out, is very fine grains, looking nearly like sand.
Thursday 7th. As Dom Innocent read from the Prologue to the Rule in Chapter this morning, it was striking to hear it again, Benedict’s beautiful thoughts as read by a new superior. At Mass, a Priest was by who writes a weekly column in new Brunswick’s one French-language daily.
Friday, 8th. A spider was hanging tough in the top pane of the kitchen window, in the basement, this morning. Such confidence! Behind him or her, some greenery, a lovely sky. But not every spider is as content. The spider community is not happy with what has been going on in our former dairy barn; pressure washing. Hard to imagine spiders more at home than they were, there. They were peppy decorators.
Saturday 9th. In the Sacristy this morning, there was a trace of incense aroma left from yesterday’s Solemnity. An old friend reappeared for the Offices. Part of our prayer, part of God’s secret is with them and so having folks back, or away, teaches us something. In Moncton, Brother Henry’s baseball cap seemed to go missing briefly today. Another nurse went in to look—there it was, on the desk.
Sunday 10th. At Mass, there was a real variety of faces. At Compline, one fellow who had been at Mass re-appeared. At night we are, some of us, firing up our little electric heaters. Below zero again tonight.