It is cold (for here), down to minus three and there is a layer of frost on all the downed leaves from last week’s storm. There is a sense that this will be a long cold season. The handspun is a soft cotswald, romney and black corriedale roving that I found this fall on our trip to Utah. It has bounce and life and while the colours don’t actually show so well in the photo they echo the colours of the leaves in the picture opposite, with tans and dark browns amongst the darker greys.
Grant and I recently did a retreat at the Abbey, and stopped for walks around Ashland, Oregon, near the California border on our way. It always feels like a real treat to stop, look at pretty things in the shops, eat at the Indian buffet and then head to the Abbey for (mostly) silent retreat. It feels like a return home to spend time there, not home in the sense I want to live there, more that it is home for the heart. We sit with the community, work in the kitchen and elsewhere and bow a lot. Awakening at five, meditation, ceremony, work are the basic schedule. It is not as arduous as it sounds, and it provides renewal every time. I often stagger in the front gates of the monastery tired and maybe a bit sad, thinking “can I do this?” and of course I always can.
Check out the nice hat! A “touristy” shot from Ashland.