I didn´t read the book that was on the table of my cell. But I looked at the landscape from my window. I carried a small oak tree on my back into the church of the monastery, where in the middle of the huge glittering altar piece a big oak tree starred, the one that marked the disappearance (yes, disappearance, not appearance strangely enough) of the Holy Virgin two young shepherd boys had seen here more than 500 years ago. It was the miracle the monastery, or maybe the location, got it´s name from. The oak didn´t survive and the monks have been trying to replant an oak tree at the same location but until now they haven´t succeeded.
My tree sat beside me on the wooden benches of the small chapel where the monks sang the Vespers. I didn´t read the book I got handed out there either. I embroidered small stitches on the back of my suit jacket.
Afterwards we enjoyed a simple and tasty dinner at the Casa d´Espiritualitat. It was announced as a silent dinner but nobody was silent. Somehow it is hard for people to be silent, even at a place like this.
We retrieved to our cells, it was silent there but when I opened my window the outside world entered. The restaurant that is part of the complex hosted a big group of people and almost until midnight loud voices could be heard.
And of course there is never complete silence. When the voices died out and everybody had gone to sleep, the crickets took over. A lovely sound always.
I read my own book. The Very Lowly. A Meditation on Francis of Assisi, by Christian Bobin: "We live in cities, in professions and occupations, in families. But the place we live in is not really a place like that. The place we really live in is not the one in which we hope - without knowing what we are hoping for - the one in which we sing without understanding what makes us sing .... The nature of the cricket is to love its song and take so much pleasure in it that it does not look for food and dies singing."