Little Sips of Solitude


This gorgeous place is the Abbey of Sénanque in Gordes, France.  It’s a Cistercian monastery, founded in 1148 and still housing a community of monks.

My husband took this picture on our honeymoon in July of 2002.  We had the immense good fortune to be there when the lavender was in bloom: it was a breathtaking sight, one that I doubt I’ll ever forget.  The abbey itself was one of the most peaceful places I’ve ever been.  Hidden in a quiet valley, with shady courtyards and thick stone walls and hardly any decoration, the abbey just breathed prayer.  It was enough to make one want to become a monk.

Of course, I was there on my honeymoon, so let’s just say that I was not exactly envying the monastic life.  The vocation of marriage was looking pretty darn good to me, six days in.

Now, nearly seven years in, marriage is still a pretty fab thing.  These days,  we have two sweet little boys to round out our family.  Of course, with the boys comes noise: tantrums, wails, little feet thundering down the hallway, loud toys.   There’s not much in my life that resembles the cool serenity of that abbey in France.   And yes — at times, I envy those monks their solitude.

You can read more about these thoughts in my latest Catholic San Francisco column: Little Sips of Solitude.

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