The word recollection…I like it. I had never heard this word or the lovely concept behind it until I spent some time at a Catholic retreat house near me in America. It means to collect yourself again, or to recenter yourself on God (presumably) as I have never heard the word used in any but religious context. Retreat houses have recollection days and here at the Begijnhof, each sister has a quiet or recollection day once a month, and once a month there is a recollection afternoon for all sisters.
It has been several stressful days for me for various reasons which sometimes tumble one on the other unexpectedly. I decided in Lauds this morning. Today will be recollection day for me. Now in some realms, saying you were going to do nothing but spiritual reading, rest, walk in the garden, etc. only punctuated with services and meals means you are simply nuts, lazy, unproductive or other unflattering adjectives. Who knows — maybe I am more productive than if I was busy at my usual emailing, lace making, class preparing and such…on and on the list goes. I decided all could actually wait a day and I would center myself, recollect myself, allow God and me some uninterrupted time.
I did go to the garden, picking fallen apples and pears and some unidentifiable cluster of berries for which I was assured great confiture/jam for the winter would be made. To me the berries looked like the bird variety but what do I know of the Belgian fruits in a monastery garden. The gathering was a delightful hour spent with two older sisters. We decided we were nearly as old as the fruit trees in the orchard. The orchard gets little attention now but seems to produce a good crop for both the birds and the sisters depending on who gets there first. We also fell upon a fig tree with deliciously ripe fruit which we three eagerly devoured, ate our fill and brought some to the kitchen. All of this was unexpected pleasure on my recollection day. You never know what awaits. Thank you, God.