Rain and No Trains

News has undoubtedly told you of the torrential rains in Paris — the flood level of the Seine, the highest in 100 years. Thank God for my nice warm and sheltered monastery. It is raining cats and dogs — an idiom which engendered much discussion at a recent recreation period. Buckets/sheets of rain are pelting down outside my cloister window as I sit snug and warm inside. If the tortoise who lives in the cloister is smart he is in his house too!

However, I did have to brave the deluge to go and come from rosary and vespers. The church was warm, intimate, quiet and inviting as I sat alone beside the rows of flickering candles. The rain had kept all but the very determined and hearty tourist away as well as the steking (or strike) of the trains. The train system, one of Belgium’s most reliable assets, has had its more than normal share of interruption: first it was the bombs in Belgium, and now two train strikes back to back. One was a surprise — a strike for some part of the train system for a couple of days — and now apparently there is a normal annual strike. All this to say, we sisters missed another funeral for lack of train transport and perhaps a reflection day at another monastery scheduled for next week. The jury is still out on whether there will be train service in a few days. The lack of trains has of course kept the tourists away so the church was unusually quiet and peaceful.

The rain is still coming down. So…as another sister and I, covered by two largish umbrellas, clutched each other’s arms to return to the monastery from the church, so we will again ford or circumvent the deep puddles, step gingerly on or over the slippery cobblestones and forge our way to scripture service. Sisters keep the round of living prayers and worship of God. (Even in the rain!)

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