Thursday, August 16, 2007

R & R & R

August is time for R&R&R, rest, relaxation and retreat time. Our hermitages and guest rooms have been filled with people trying to find a precious few days before the summer ends for these three R's. I noticed that the meditation labyrinth we put in a few years ago outside the east front door is a little overgrown right now. You can still see the stones that mark the spiral path, but it takes a bit of looking. Maybe it's better that way, as a slow watchful walk is certainly the best way to move through it.

When I visited the Abbey of St. Scholastica in Dinklage in northern Germany, I happened upon their cemetery as I was strolling the grounds. It is just lovely. There were perhaps 15-20 stones...not lined up, not flat to the ground, not in a manicured setting. The cemetery is set in just a large grassy opening, surrounded by large bushes and trees. Seven or eight large flat-topped stones, marking the graves there, are placed within a long area perhaps six feet wide. The area is filled in with a ground cover of greenery. It has a very natural, very personal feel. This cemetery isn't Dinklage's "claim to fame," however. That belongs to the water-filled moat that surrounds the monastery, over which you must pass to enter. Unique? Absolutely. As is this marvelous community.

Go to abteiburgdinklage.de , click on "Bilder" on the left side menu and enjoy browsing through their website's photos. There are some beautiful shots of the moat, grounds and the community. If you want to see the cemetery, you'll have to contact me!