a Personal Journal
of Faith and Writing
The warmth of summer beating down, the birds singing their evening song. We walk the hill, our voices bright and young, hopeful.
We sit on a bench, our bodies resting and muscles relaxing. The fountain plays its gentle song and I relax, feeling the weariness ease away. The bell rings, and from everywhere footsteps move toward the church. We hurry to join those who have come to pray. The cool interior of the church surrounds me, the smell of previous incense coating the air. I sit. The silence begins to envelop me.
Footsteps, rustling robes, the monks in their black and white processing in as they have done for so many years. A path seems to be worn into the floor from those footsteps, old monks who have prayed there for years, down to the youngest monk who came the day before. Maybe he too will someday walk that path in the floor, an old monk, hunched with time and work. The knock sounds, and the prayer begins, soft, suffused with purity and holiness. A joy flows through me- I am here for this night, and this night can last as long as I wish it to.
The joy is only half joy, because I would like to be present in the here and now, but that is not possible. So I let the memory flow around . The prayer flows in and through me. I sing the words softly in my head and heart. The prayer ends, and in silence, the monks leave. I softly go to my room, and sit before the open window. The fountain lulls me, the remembered prayer surrounds me. I know at this moment that I am fully and forever loved.
Note from Debby Phillips:
I live with my husband, Seeing Eye dog Nova, retired Seeing Eye dog, Lamar and our rescued cat, Flounder. My story, featured here on “Walking by Inner Vision” is a blend of details from an actual experience combined with memories, longing, and imagination.
I have a master’s degree in Theological Studies from
Mount Angel Seminary, a Benedictine monetary.
I was an Oblate of Mount Angel Abbey.
My life has taken me away from there, but the Abbey and its monks hold a special place in my heart.
I guess I get a little homesick sometimes.
You can visit this link to see a Photo Gallery of Mount Angelo:
Story by Debby Phillips. Copyright 2015. All right reserved world-wide.
Photograph by Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved World-wide.
With deep appreciation to Debby Phillips for generously sharing this beautiful story, memoir with our readers. I first read Debby’s story on the NFB Writers Division and loved her articulate and gentle description of a place so special in her life. I felt like I was there with Debbie, participating in this lovely memory.
Thank you, Debby, for allowing me to publish your story!