18 months ago I spent several glorious days at Mt. Calvary Monastery and Retreat House, a gorgeous estate-turned monastery for a small group of Episcopal monks. (See the link for a heart-wrenching photo of the fire itself).
Last night, as I was catching up on a December Christian Century (yes, it's been that kind of year), I noticed a quote from one of the monks with a caption explaining that their facility was destroyed in the Montecito wildfires in November. I had had no idea. It's devastating to think of that place, soaked in holy silence and hospitality, in ashes, but here it is.
And here it is before the fire:
One of the mixed blessings of our interconnected world is that I could ever travel to such a place and feel such a connection with it -- and yet not hear of its loss until months later. People who live much more globe-trotting lives than I must have this happen quite often as they read the newspaper -- it's a very odd thing.
One of the monks of Mt. Calvary does lovely calligraphy, a piece of which hangs
on our kitchen wall, reading (in German as well as English) "Mornings,
do not complain about the day's work. It is no hardship to labor for
those we love." That print has an added layer of meaning for me --
for now I know that their labor of love is happening in a different
space. I hope I can return when they rebuild, for I have no doubt that
their hospitality will be even further refined by this fire.