Rain and Sun

The trip from America was fraught with complications. It was an inexpensive flight — no frills — food only for purchase, expensive for a nun on a budget, only juices, water, and soda were complimentary. The plane had technical difficulties at the stopover and after being boarded we were de-boarded and hustled off to an obscure gate for re-boarding. My body clock at 2 am found this trek a trial. I had a small medical procedure before I left the States which also did not appreciate the excess movement and required a trip to the Red Cross in Brussels airport on arrival, luggage and all! Many hours later than expected I arrived, still standing but quite asleep and hungry in Brugge train station — familiar territory! Dominos Pizza called to me. I have no idea how bedraggled I must have looked dragging two suitcases over the cobblestones and stumbling inside. The sales gal sold me a pizza for 5 euros…a 4 euro discount! I devoured a complete individual pizza in nothing flat nearly burning my tongue! On my way again, the back door of the convent never looked so good as I fumbled with my key, relieved to be safe inside the monastery walls. Then, the ascent from the cave of jet lag began. The prioress kindly sent me off to bed early for several days…no compline for me! Twelve hour nights of sleep followed although I tried to wake up for Lauds. I could be seen sneaking to my seat 10 or 15 minutes late. Better late than never! I desperately wanted to attend services again in the lovely warm Beguinage church but jet lag would not be denied for at least a week. In between, I sat in front of my cloister window and basked in the sun. Sun is not always the case in Brugge so these five days of warm healing sun at my window were a gift from God. I sat there as the warmth seeped into my bones healing my bone tiredness. Finally, last night it rained a good hard rain; we sisters looked up to the skylight in the refectory dining room and could hear the strong, steady pitter pat of the drops washing and cleaning the earth. We donned our raincoats and umbrellas in hand, carefully picked our way to the church for the Compline service to end the day.  All the guests from the guesthouse were gone and it was just us sisters. I was grateful; there is a simpleness and quiet with just the sisters and conversely there is delight when guests and regulars are sharing the services with us. Each has its joys. Today is a new day; I may venture out to the town for errands  after my week in sunny recuperation. Psalm 118: 24, “This is the day the Lord hath made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

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