Monday, July 18, 2016

A Trip to Holy Dormitian Monastery

I went to Holy Dormitian Monastery this weekend.  My oldest daughter, Bethany, wanted to go and I accompanied her, together with some other women from our parish.

It was the whirlwind trip.  Up on Friday (slow traffic, eight hours or so of travel), back on Sunday.

I was already exhausted from my busy week before the trip, because it included accompanying Wes to Louisville on Wednesday, taking B. to the doctor in Louisville on Thursday...so I'd traveled and been very busy the two days before....

...so on Saturday at the monastery I took three naps.  Yes, that is what I did.  I slept.  And then I slept again.  And again.

When I wasn't sleeping I was crying.  It was that sort of place and I'm in a crying sort of place in my life.

The Monastery: 

Every blade of grass, every flower, every stone in the the courtyard:  Perfection.  Nothing out of place.  Everything in order.  Even the wild growing things and the wee pond creatures at Holy Dormitian were cooperating with the orderliness of the place.  It felt like being in a slice of paradise.

And the singing and the praying...endless.

I could only imbibe snippets. 

I, the unworthy worm, was there sleeping.  Because that's how tired I was.  Nope, no guilt.  Just reporting the facts.

So that is me.

I was there to serve B.'s needs and make sure she had a nice time.  I'm learning that I need to hold her a bit more loosely, and let God do more of the holding, and just let her be herself


I got some clarity on a couple of things while I was there and had such beautiful thoughts about heaven which I came home and shared with Wes.

I think many of my tears these days are about processing the upcoming separation that Wes' terminal diagnosis has thrust upon us.  "I know you will be OK," I said to him as we were falling asleep holding hands.  "I know you will be OK, too," he answered.  We will, each of us, be held by God.

2 comments:

monica said...

I have a friend who went there and slept a lot. I think good sleep is the most holy thing you can have sometimes. A safe place to cry is one of the main reasons I first came to Orthodoxy.

elizabeth said...

I was just there! I probably came just hours after you left (I came Sunday about 4 PM and left today about 2 PM). I am so glad you and Bethany were able to be there, what a blessing. It's such a wonderful place. My husband and I still have you all on our prayer list. I am glad you were able to rest as you did. God bless you!