"It seems strange to say, but what can help modern man find the answers to his own mystery and the mystery of him in whose image he is created, is silence, solitude -- in a word, the desert. Modern man needs these things more than the hermits of old." Catherine Doherty

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Vermont's FIFTH season,...Muuuuuuud season!

The birds are singing, the temperatures are rising the sap is flowing and the river is running,..
As the snow melts at a rapid pace we enjoy the mud season sports of driving sideways up the driveway, the ankle deep suction on the way to the barn and the never ending trail of foot prints through out the house.

As promised I am giving a little pictorial trip down my arch nemesis, the driveway, or as we often refer to it, "the devil's backbone" to see how much fun mud season can be. Whether walking up it, sliding down it at odd angles or simply spraying mud all around, the ground texture is perfect for the season. 

The ruts and bumps leave scattered pieces of car parts in your wake.

 Don't hit the breaks too hard heading down the first hill! Unless you want to see the trees real close up!

Oh and don't forget our own driveway version of a river runs through it...

This driveway can  be a real inspiration for prayer around this time of year.

Once the house in sight, its safe to say we'll make it. But there is still a
lot of snow to melt so this is just the beginning of the mud bog challenge!

The cat seems to be the only one who has found a way to get around this time of year,..
But the good side, there are flowers coming up by the house!

Ah spring in Vermont, the sugaring, the rivers, the flowers, the mud!
But better not take the snow plow off yet, we had 2 feet of snow last April 1st.

Hope you are high and dry where ever you are,

Pax et Bonum from

The Mary Theotokos Center

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Ice and cold bring more pilgrims

Early last Saturday morning three pilgrims struggled their way up the driveway. 

Normally the driveway is relatively easy to maneuver but the night we got 5 inches of snow and as the sun rose it began to turn to freezing rain. 
This meant a quick trip up and down the driveway with the plow truck to make a path, and with a few tries the first car made it. 
We were all a bit surprised that the third member of the party, who drove a smart car, made it with no problem at all! 
It may have helped that he was a Priest!

Although there were to be a few more in attendance, illness and weather kept them away. After a greeting and a short tour we all settled down to a mid morning Mass in the chapel. Both these young men and the Priest were visiting from Burlington VT.

After Mass the weather turned even more awful as Father made his escape back to Burlington. 
The lads stayed on for quiet study and 
meditative reflection in the retreat center and in our, "upper room" meeting space.

The only time I found to talk to them a little, was during the lunch break. 

After their individual prayer and discussion time, there was some time for snow shoeing 
and exploring the grounds.
As night fell and the ice increased these two intrepid pilgrims said their good byes and
made their way back to Burlington as well.

It was a pleasure having such conscientiousness and focused young men here. 
Their outlook on the faith is an inspiration and I hope they will make good on the idea of visiting us again. 

In the end I was happy that another set of pilgrims came to Mary Theotokos and found silent time to be with God. Time in the wilderness with our Lord, a fitting and potentially transformational activity for Lent.

Now the snow is melting, the temperature is in the 50's and tomorrow it will be in the 60's. Only two visitors today had to give up and park at the bottom of the driveway then walk up through the ice slush/mud! 
I myself took the last hill a bit sideways, this afternoon, but made it.

Here comes Vermont's famous mud season, break out the rubber boots!

Pax et Bonum


The Mary Theotokos center in Newark VT.