Posted by: normanlgreen | November 4, 2012

Dream, November 4, 2012 camping at the monastery


Dream, home 5:06am
Traveling with my family in a small motor home. Late in the afternoon, we reach a camping ground where we are to stay the night. I go to the office to register and receive instructions.
Inside the building, the walls are of vanished plywood, the ceiling fairly low, perhaps seven feet. A line of people wait to be processed by the two people who staff the office. As I wait my turn, I remember that the campground is a public extension of a monastic order with a mission of land stewardship. I remember that my eldest son has already joined the order. To join, one must stay at the campground for a three-day trial period before committing to become an initiate. As I wait, I decide that I too will join, wondering if the monks will allow me to skip the first three-day trial. On the wall to my left, hang abandoned clothes from those who have left the outside world to enter the monastery, like crutches abandoned at Lourdes. On a counter lays a khaki shirt. I turn it over and recognize boy scout insignia. I take off my civilian clothes and don a dark brown robe to show my intention.
Outside, the sun is low in the West, and I make my way on foot through the rows of camper trucks and motor homes all parked at diagonals. The parking lot is half-full, so I push the button on my key fob to flash my parking lights to more easily spot our vehicle – I must tell the rest of my family that I have decided to join the order. I push the wrong button, and the alarm sounds in the distance. A green and brown camper jostles as though the inhabitants had all jumped at the sudden sound. No people emerge. On the far side of this camper, I spot the greyhound coloring of our family camper.
My wife comes out the door. We stand beneath an ancient Oak with deeply grooved bark. She too has decided to see if the monastic life will suit her. I recognize a cracker-box house to our right as one where I lived in 1967, in Fresno California. The tree in our old back yard has matured, and the neighborhood has disappeared. I am aware that a young woman, our guest is inside of the house and that neither my wife nor I wear any clothes. I feel no embarrassment, but am concerned that our guest will be upset, should she see us. Still we stand in the warmth below the oak and admire the patterns in its trunk.

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Responses

  1. There is something so pleasantly absurd about deciding to join a monastery while waiting in line to register at a campground.


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