Monday, May 28, 2012

Mother's day (transferred)

I woke to a sky imperceptibly lighter than it had been on my midnight excursion to the chapel, and to bells calling the community to Vigils. In the darkness, I dressed and made my ablutions — remembering both Jane Hirshfield's poem which opens with that morning exercise in a Zen monastery, and a friend's recollection of his monastic stretch where the Buddhist abbot remarked to him, "You could at least wash your face!" before the early morning service. I wended my way to the chapel, collecting Psalter and Ordo as I went, the holy water in the marble basin at the door providing a second, bracing Asperges.

I sat in the dimness, marking my psalter. The Camaldolese Office of Vigils is longer than the Office of Reading in the Roman breviary where I make my home, and finding my way for this first Hour of the day was proving challenging (mostly because it arrived at 5:15 am, I suspect). I thought I had the basics down, but couldn't figure out why the Ordo kept directing me to antiphons for a regular day in Eastertide. It was Thursday, Ascension Thursday, or so I thought.

Actually, not. Right around dawn it dawned on me that the celebration of the Ascension in this very rural diocese has been transferred to Sunday.

Yesterday night, after a glorious day of sailing (in my opinion, there is no better way to spend a Pentecost afternoon than thrown onto the mercy of wind and water and light), after my spouse had headed to bed to read, and while both sons were out with friends, I filled the claw foot tub and soaked the bruises and sore muscles away.

Long before I expected him home, the front door creaked open and I heard The Boy's footsteps. "Mom?" "I'm just getting out of the tub!" I wrap up in my robe and pad into the hallway. There is The Boy, "I brought you a s'more." Oh, my. I had teased him that if I were providing marshmallows for the teen-age late night fire fest at the end of the block, the least they could do is bring me a toasted marshmallow. I laughed and told him that I thought we were doing Mother's Day in reverse. Instead of breakfast in bed to start the day, I was getting a s'more in my PJs at the end of the day.

All in all, a lovely way to celebrate Mother's Day, even if transferred two Sundays forward!

An account of last year's celebration with my merry men. Photos are of the dawn (taken just after Vigils, outside the chapel here) and a s'more (from the Wikimedia collection)


  1. That's just awesome!!

  2. How nice that he remembered. I would think a smore after a bath would be quite a lovely evening.