Wednesday night one of the girls' friend's grandpas told us about a monastery not too far from our house that we didn't even know about. We decided we needed to go check it out and Lily especially, ever eager for new experiences, did not let a rainy day deter her! Unfortunately we missed the sign for the Welcome Center and by the time we found it, it was closed, but we learned some from their web site. We are going to go back and watch their short film and peruse the bonsai shop, which was closed, but we looked at it longingly through the slats in the fence surrounding it. There was a peaceful lake with some geese and ducks that were very angry we had no food, and the monastery has a house they allow you to stay at if you need some time of quiet contemplation. Boy do I ever qualify! But I'd have to take the kids and all the pets with me, and I think it would defeat the purpose!
The architecture inside the church was lovely. Our jaws literally dropped when we walked through the unassuming little door and into the back of the sanctuary. Is that a nave? Anyway, we stayed a while and listened to the monks sing liturgy. We could not quite figure out what was going on in the sanctuary. There were individual seats lined up along the walls with long lecturns going all the way across covered in papers of some sort - maybe the words to the liturgies they sing? The monk's voices were gentle and beautiful to listen to.
We rounded out the day with an hour at the bookstore and dinner from our favorite Chinese restaurant, so it was a nice Friday before the weekend drudgery of work.