lawn as white as driven snow

snowdrops_3

Deep round the convent rooves the snows are sparkling to the sun and moon

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you may say that by and large it is Toby who’s in charge

Toby1

He establishes control by a regular patrol, and he’d know at once if anything occurred.

He will watch you without winking and he sees what you are thinking, and it’s certain that he doesn’t approve

of hilarity and riot, so the folk are very quiet when Toby is about and on the move

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glow light and grass blade

for festive blog_2homey hall-decking this festive season kindled many a small light for meditation…thanks to lots of fun and frolicks gathering the holly and the ivy, especially on Christmas Eve

greenery triptych blurred1(we did not miss out on the essential glitzy lights so crucial for a bit of cosy toasting)

for festive blog_3(nor did the opportunity for a glamorous black and white photo shoot go amiss)

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advent christmas 2013_14moonlight and star light, owl and moth light, light through panes of windows and light reflected on polished stone… sometimes we see light but see not whence it comes

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bandw cloister light1

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happily hen pecked new year

advent christmas 2013_6the adolescent newcomers, their red combs barely formed, have been heralding the new year with the first fruits of their labour…literally

hen tryptich 21because when the coops have been cleaned, the water topped up, the perches set in place and the corn feed scattered, our youthful sisters settle down for the quiet narration of their guardian’s latest literary exposition

advent christmas 2013_5its a fine feathered active contemplative balance to be kept

Hen pecked from Freeland Community on Vimeo.

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make the dry tree flourish

for advent and light blogs and carolin21

Between the pine woods and orchard a pile of tree trunks felled years ago had quietly kept well the log that found us this Advent.

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in the look of your eyes

for advent and light blogs and carolin14

Wisdom is more mobile than any motion. A reflection of eternal light, while remaining in herself she renews all things.

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She is more beautiful than the sun and excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior.

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When we look for you, you are in the look of our eyes, in the thought of our looking. There’s no need to go outside.

moonlight

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a spread of apple trees gone wild

Autumn and Apples16

Looks warm, simple, ordered.  Yet there’s quite some discernment and heavy work to do before reaching the light at the end of the apple store. Not to mention gathering windfall.

Autumn and Apples10 The variety is astounding. There’s no single right place to start – best just to dive in.

Autumn APPLES_Sextet FINAL

Today’s tip for a successful crumble is not getting precariously distracted by the view from atop your apple picking ladder, just as you lean over for the perfect bramley…

Autumn_Up and Down treeAnd though the mountain to the climber is clearer from the plain, at times we have to admit that the big picture – awe-inspiring in its abundance – can also be overwhelming.

Autumn and Apples13

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what the wind and rain can do

Autumn and Apples4

Moist browns and yellows, mossy greens and auburn are giving our wellies a good crunch in the garden now. Our Autumn harvest offers a more saturated, peaty basket of smells.

Autumn PRODUCE_Triptych

The birds are hungry by mid afternoon light. Wherever you look the bushes are burning.

Autumn leaves_Triptych

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gaze, consider, contemplate

The need to create and protect simple places for silence and solitude seems deeply human – a need that all the mystics affirm and respond to in some way.

OP Orchard shed 2The community here has given a good deal of attention over the years to the priority of that need to contemplate, alone. Though as a guest in Freeland you may not experience every corner that is cared for, rest assured our little ‘huts’ are there. . .

sheds 2 and 3_5Hidden away behind a hedge, close to woods and to our orchard, is one place for us to paint, even sleep there close to the elements, or just take some moments to ‘place our minds before the mirror of eternity’. There are other places too.

Laurel Villa as 3

Whether we seek time and space to meditate and pray, whether we want to be closer to nature, or whether we need to be alone to write, we all need our secret spaces.

sheds 1 and 2

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community self-sufficiency at the most basic

Providing enough food to see everyone flourish is where community self-sufficiency and sustainability begin. It means hard work, together, every single day of the year, but the result is so amazing.

It all depends not only on the weather, the daily protection and care of the fruit and vegetables, each in their own season, but also on the talent and know-how to transform them. Take – for example – the raspberries, some home-cultured yoghurt, a few secret ingredients and not a little creative vision… well, we can vouch for the final deliciousness!

raspberries from plot to pot

And have you even ever seen a yellow courgette..?

courgettes

…which are just what you need sliced with earthy potatoes and some of cook’s Wednesday special

demonstrating courgettes

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