Along a walking trail beside the Rio Ruidoso (Noisy River) in Southern New Mexico, someone made a collection of little wooden houses filled with fairies (I like to think of them as angels) and trolls (I like to think of them as ‘trouble’), and attached them to the trees to delight children of all ages. A starry wand or a ‘T’ marks the path wherever there is a house hidden nearby. Some of the houses are not easy to find. You have to go off the path and wander among the trees to find them.
I’ve often wondered why we have to wrestle with so many trolls in our lives. Perhaps we need a few trolls to help us recognize the angels.
A few weeks ago, I went on retreat at the Monastery of Christ in the Desert in Northern New Mexico. Part of the Benedictine charism is hospitality, and guests are welcome. For all who come to stay, there is daily Mass, Gregorian chant, and communal meals with the monks.
I had a room to myself in the Guest House, which is some distance from the chapel and the main building. I had no computer and no cell phone coverage. Except for a few conversations with friends and an introduction to the monastery donkeys and sheep by Abbot Christian, most of my time was spent in silence.
Here it is late September, and my Crape Myrtle bushes have finally bloomed. (They should have started blooming in June. I managed to consistently water my plants (or have them watered) throughout the season. Next year, maybe I’ll work myself up to fertilization. What can I say? I’m a later bloomer as a gardener.