Saturday, June 1st. Our bird feeder draws some songbirds, but the sisters’ feeders draw a greater variety of birds.
Sunday, June 2nd. A new floodlight debuted, lighting the area in front of the guesthouse through the night. The light happens to fall in a nice way on the statue of the Blessed Virgin there. At Mass, Brother Stephan played a lovely offertory, using a carillon tone. At lunch, we spoke for a change, putting Sunday music on hold for a week. This afternoon I was able to speak by phone with a hermit living in the city, who offers a fresh perspective on many things, including city life with its ups and downs.
Monday 3rd. Brother Henry saw his new neurologist today. What with retirements, and doctors moving away, this makes for his third neurologist over the years, as he’s dealt with Parkinson’s. Each doctor has had their own style, and taken specific paths as regards treatment. This doctor is another good one.
Tuesday 4th. In Chapter this morning, Dom Innocent continued to comment the Rule of Saint Benedict on correcting faults, alluding to the poignant and promising nature of being at an unusual moment in one’s life just as others, or life itself, call us to account.
Wednesday 5th . Brother Leo has returned to work at the reception desk, part-time. Recently, we had a European guest with us. That is relatively rare, though not that unusual. Rarer are guests from the USA, though the border is close by. Dom Innocent got into Moncton today to see Brother Henry.
Thursday 6th. The storage shed down at the grotto is being repainted a dark green. It fits so well in the corner there. This year, there are more tiny blue wildflowers than usual along the long stairway down to the grotto.
Friday 7th. The bank of our lake is a straight line parallel to the monastery and drive. A few trees from below have now grown to above the bank, seeming to come out of nowhere. When I asked to what degree the lake is artificial, and how the bank got to be the way it is, I found out from Brother Stephan that the cliff was created with large loads of fill dumped here courtesy of a CN Railway work crew, over a century ago.
Saturday 8th. We are drawing near the end of the refectory book on Queen Victoria. With her death, the people who formed the court around her appear in a different light, as world events give sign that empire as it existed then would not hold.
Sunday 9th. To mark the end of Paschal Time, we had a festive lunch with far-ranging conversation. I think we were also filmed. As we got to talking about trees, Bede explained the recent absence of eagles. He witnessed an eagle-crow aerial battle to rival the Battle of Britain, with our determined crows giving their all to defend their nest, which Steve says is huge, and hence their territory. Bede also says he has heard the coyotes singing at night, recently.
Monday 10th. This morning, Father Bede duly removed the icon of the Pentecost from its place before the ambo, as we return to ordinary time.
Tuesday 11th. In Chapter, Father Innocent mentioned the possibility of bringing in an external confessor for the monks, something we haven’t done in a while. Brother Stephan mentioned that the big red doors of the chapel, recently replaced, will be needing some help to protect them from water damage. The problem is run-off from the roof when the doors are fixed in open position.
Wednesday 12th. A guest is here who has strong memories of the monastery in the 1970’s and 80’s. That period seems like a defining one here, somehow. Perhaps it was partly the humility and humanity of the members who were around at the time, paired with the Church and civic culture of the day, which made the community’s encounter with the 1970’s and 1980’s in some ways a happy one. Happiness that’s lasted.
Thursday 13th. Brother Stephan this morning resumed work on the automated front gate. The Nelson Rural School Grade 5 French Immersion classes were here as part of their year-end field trip. They stepped off the yellow bus into something quite new to them. They asked many questions, and with goodness and gravitas of their own, had fun.
Friday 14th. One has to be on their toes to get into the car without mosquitoes also skipping in for a ride these days. Our new refectory book, God’s Smuggler, is off to a striking beginning. In style, it is somewhat reminiscent of All Things Great and Small, which we heard read last year. I imagine the smuggling in question will be of Bibles, but this remains to be seen.
Saturday 15th. The tree which the late Msgr. Donat Chiasson planted in front of the guest house, when he was ordained Archbishop of Moncton in 1972, is becoming more lovely each year; he would have been pleased. Some hearing aid adjustments are causing a bit of noise recently, and it recalls monks of yesteryear and the striking song of their hearing aids.
Sunday 16th. Dom Innocent stepped over towards the pottery studio this afternoon, while other monks not seeing to duties cycled, or boated, or ‘chilled’. Father’s Day brought several fathers to Mass here this morning. A good-natured Acadian-American couple who are around for the summer also joined us.