Sonntag, 20. Januar 2013

Walking in the Vineyard with Gratitude

It snowed again overnight. Not much, but enough to make everything beautiful. God but a cover over all that was dirty or broken.
The bishop spoke about gratitude. The Gospel here today was the story of the ten lepers who are healed by Jesus. I know in our lectionary today was the Wedding of Cana. What struck me was that the bishop called all who of us who were in church those who knew about gratitude, because we were there, because we had come to praise God as the one Samaritan leper had done, praising God with loud voice.
But what about the other nine? What about those who were, what, not able, not willing or just ignorant? Those who went to the priests in the temple to be announced clean, but did not come back to thank and praise God?
I have learned in the course of my life that I am not good in giving thanks. I am trying to get better, but expressing my gratitude is not something I am good at. Or at least I am not good at expressing thanks the way I would like to do it. When I came here to Romania, with little Romanian and hardly anybody who spoke a language I knew, I said, Thank you, all the time, because I was grateful for any help I got. One day one of the monks told me, I was saying, Thank you, too often and didn't need to do it so much. Hmmm. So much about gratitude and giving thanks.
Sundays here are quiet. After the service we have lunch, the first meal of the day at about 11:30 am, then nothing until dinner at 7 pm. Most of the monks and nuns stay in their cells resting, praying or reading. Some take a walk occasionally.
The sun was shining and it was just beautiful. I feel called outside and make my way into the vineyard. It is actually pretty warm and thawing. The sound of dropping water is everywhere. The cart which we use for all kinds of things is covered by a thin layer of snow.

The warmth made the snow soft and with every step I sink in. In the vineyard snow which dropped from the espalier stands up like icicles. I wonder if they dropped down last night, when it was still warm, half thawed and then turned into ice by the cold of the night.

 At the end of the vineyard the view back. I am not sure what the tower is for, but it looks nice. In the back the cathedral towers and the entrance tower of the bishopric. There is peace in the picture.

It takes me an hour before I finish my round. Slowly walking, taking pictures, meditating. I am grateful for the sun, for the beauty, for God's love. I know I am blessed richly.
The door to the orchard is open and the last beams of the sun are coloring the church in a soft pink. What more can one ask for? I return into a warm room and enjoy the rest of the day.

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