Silent Retreat at Gethsemane Abbey

A couple of weeks ago I went to Trappist, Kentucky for a four day silent retreat at 
Thomas Merton's Gethsemane Abbey. People come from all over the world to visit.

On the way, my husband and I visited Daylily World the daylily gardens of David Kirchhoff and Mort Morss. They are among America's preeminent hybridizers, and their gardens and home are out of a storybook.

For 43 years they have been coming up with some of the world's most dazzling hybrids. 

On the retreat I spent my days taking walks though the gorgeous Abbey grounds, having some luxurious time to myself, and appreciating the atmosphere created by over 150 years of monks at prayer.

The grounds had farm fields, surprisingly steep forested "knobs," and lakes.

I liked the way the light streamed in to my room one late afternoon. I have time to appreciate this kind of stuff when I'm not cramming my day with activity.

The architecture of the Abbey was stark and modern. We were welcome to join the monks at communal prayer at extremely regular intervals, eight times a day. They start at 3:15 in the morning! The bells of the Abbey rung throughout the day, reminding us of when prayers started and ended. The monks keep the Abbey supported by selling their homemade bourbon fruitcake, bourbon fudge and various cheese. I bought a bunch of all of it, and can report that all of their products are certainly worth it. 

The tip of the Abbey peeks (and peaks) above the trees the morning I left.


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