The Monday after our June Monastic Chapter heralds the beginning of the summer charges (chores) here at the monastery. My Monday charges include produce preparation from the monastery's garden and orchard. (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings I'll be IN the garden.) We are currently between seasons in the garden. The asparagus,lettuce and radishes are slowing down, but the other veggies and fruits aren't yet in season. However, rhubarb seems to create a timeline of its own. The morning began with cleaning and trimming a few boxes of rhubarb from our garden! Tomorrow the sisters will move to chopping it for pies, jams, and sauces!
It is a wonderful charge when we gather around the counters in the serving hall and begin to visit and tell stories as we work. There is a place for all the sisterly crew rinsing the stalks by the sinks, sitting on stools, or collecting the trimmings for our composting around the garden. We even had one of our wandering elders join us for a while in the trimming and stories, and when she was ready to move on, she rinsed her hands and wandered along.
It is a wonderful change of pace and focus from the school year. These daily exchanges are what settles my soul.