watching the hours


The Nunnery, Iona

It is our plainchant
watching of the monastic
hours that is our lifeline
here Sister Columba –
for the time they afford for
praise and recall blesses
us with our glad
remembrances of past
present and abiding future

For it was not that we
were running away in
our coming and in our being
here but rather that we
have been possessed of an
absolute holding and an
inbuilt need to be reminded
of the mothering grace
from whence we all came

Ah I recall now when we
made our wedding vows
Sister Columba and caught
true and willing in our
cantor’s prayer we were
pink and young and new and
true and you loveliest of
the brides I had ever seen
or have seen since

And we were clothed in new
habits clean and girded about
with perfumed leather for our
lifetimes and so we have watched
and chanted and panted the hours
and this familiar plainchant
chants plainly the birth of
our coming and of our being
and of our returning

It is our plainchant
watching of the monastic
hours that is our lifeline
here Sister Columba –
Yes: and now the leather
cracked and broken
wedding habits patched and
mended over and over between
countless Magnificats

we have remembered


click photo once or twice to enlarge

Lovely trip north today – once past the Glasgow traffic the roads quietened very quickly and the drive was easy and varied. Glorious physical scenery is further beautified by weather changes almost by the minute. One moment brightest sunshine, the next the mountains and lochs – sometimes mirror-like, sometimes quite choppy, can be shrouded in atmospheric mist. A picnic and ice cream stop in Inverary afforded an admiring view of the Duke of Argyll’s imposing castle and a photo-op with the little fishing puffer Vital Spark I’d remembered enjoying back in 2010. Our home for the night in Oban provides a grandstand view of ferries coming and going between Hebridean islands, and the call of Iona and meeting up with fellow contemplatives and writers there tomorrow makes for peaceful evening hours