Summer's end

I set off this morning to walk to Bethlehem, the abbey's farm near Yagleah. It was a day of rich colours, as if some unseen hand had painted the leaves of the trees in the forest. The weather has been calm of late, but when the October wind blows, it will strip the trees of their rich garb. The wheel of the year will turn and once again, winter browns and greys will settle over the fields and woods, and if I am truthful, also in my heart.


Nine Men's Morris

These first few days of October are holding hard to the last warmth of late summer. We wake each morning to mist on the flood meadows beside the river. The grass is wet with dew when I walk through the vegetable garden to my workshop, and spiders' webs, as fine as spun silk, shine in the low sun. Tiny beads of dew catch the light and sparkle like a king's treasure which has been scattered across the ground in the early dawn. It soaks the hem of my habit but my boots, well rubbed with tallow, stay dry.

Sometimes, we find a few moments in the day to sit in the cloister and play the game of Nine Men's Morris. Many years ago, someone scratched a game board into a stone seat in the north alley. We use small river smoothed pebbles, collected near Sheep Brook ford, as gaming pieces. Some are black, some are milk white, and they are kept in a wooden box which old Brother Adam carved long ago.