Kinship with nature

Lavender Turquois

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) Thomas Merton (1915-1968) (Photo credit: DUCKMARX)

“How necessary it is for monks to work in the fields, in the rain, in the sun, in the mud, in the clay, in the wind: these are our spiritual directors and our novice-masters. They form our contemplation. they instill us with virtue. They make us as stable as the land we live in”

                                                                                         —Thomas Merton

The season of Fall offers many reflections for the monk and artist. Nature is one source of revelation.  Helen Waddell‘s Beasts and Saints is filled with stories of saints from the Western monastic tradition. who had encounters with animals. Once a day I have occasion to see deer in the yard. Or a walk in the words lets me know that a coyote is nearby. Today there were several wooly bears and also orange butterflies.

In one of his letters Thomas Merton describes the ideal…

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