Prayer Chair

Every morning I sit in my prayer chair. The chair in my room/cell is turned toward my second story window that graciously looks out on the 100-year-old cloister, dating from the renovations in the 1920s when the last Beguine passed to the Prioress of the Benedictine sisters. A lovely wisteria vine, probably also 100 years old, rises to my window and has blossomed this spring in a profusion of sweet smelling lavender and purple blossoms in all shades. (On a practical note: later in the summer I will have to trim the overgrowth of new vines and leaves to avoid being overtaken in my own room!) When the skies are blue and clear, which they are now and for most of the summer, I watch the planes cross the sky at regular intervals flying to Brussels airport. The flight path is easily followed with the trail of white jet smoke in the sky. I feel so happy to see these planes again in the aftermath of the bombings. Someone must be daring to come again to see the treasures of the lovely little country of Belgium.

I have written of the mallard ducks which often sat on the roof ridge. They are no longer there. I do not know where they go but not here. This morning treated me to the flight of the heron. Being on the second floor, I am right on their flight level so I have a wonderful view. The heron flew unabashedly and undisturbedly right past my window. One day last week a sister motioned wildly at me (we are in silence you know), and led me to the linen closet window; we peeked out from behind the starched white cafe curtain to see a heron in the cloister, apparently he comes to feed on the goldfish in the pool IF he can catch one! I do not know how lucky he is thereby but this morning he was lovely stalking to the pool. There is a statue of a heron on the edge of the cloister pool installed there many years ago; Mr Heron seems to match his waxen friend, although the friend does not dine on the goldfish! I confess I was warned not to open the window or he would fly away. Obviously, this sister had tried that once before but…I would not be deterred and ran for my camera. I did frighten him but simply aimed my camera and caught him in mid flight as he mounted to the roof ridge and safety from the paparazzi sister! I do pray in my Prayer Chair but sometimes the beauty of the outdoors arrests me. I hope God does not mind too much but there is always later in the day for prayer.

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