It's dark in the novitiate library. The only light is the reading lamp by my chair. It's fall break at the college and I'm stretching a visit with my spiritual director into 24-hours and a bit "off duty". I took a 5 mile walk this afternoon, through the hedgerow and down the country roads. While the flora were nothing to write home about, the fauna put on a magnificent show. I watched a woodpecker explore a tree, taste testing the branches; two cardinals flew within a meter of my face, vivid flashes of scarlet among the still green leaves; a squirrel stood stolidly upon a bird house nailed to a tree, defending his stash of nuts.
Next stop, the candle lit small chapel and some time to think about next year's sabbatical. What would you do with 8 months of free time? Or with 15?