Rose at 5am this morning to put ingredients into a crockpot for slow cooking real baked beans! I'm in charge of the kitchen right now and it is just like all those years of dealing with, "What's for dinner, Mom?" Yesterday included miles of walking through supermarkets, one of which is being completely reorganized and you all know what that means - time, time, time.
So, what is a 'dies non'? This too is an old monastic tradition continued by contemplative nuns and monks in some communities. This a 'no day' or 'non-day', a day off to do those many things that you have been wanting to do and not been able to get to doing; letter writing, taking your room apart for spring cleaning, hiking through the fields in your 'civvies', gardening, watching a special that was aired on public television and videotaped for future use, reading to your hearts content, working on a personal project, etc., etc.
At this moment the sun is rising over the eastern hills of Dutchess County revealing what promises to be a perfectly beautiful day. After Morning Prayer at 8am I plan to get comfortable, grab the camera and walk to an orchard on the property. It should be in full bloom. May post some photos later. Afterward some sewing on a patchwork wall-hanging featuring embroidered 'turkey work' blocks - a gift from a friend which I would like to return to her in gratitude for her great generosity to our community. Lunch, our main meal prepared by our cook, will be a talkative and relaxed affair. These days often see us lingering longer at table sharing stories and activities. We will have Mass at 5pm and then Vespers at 6pm with the rest of the evening free.
A 'dies non' also allows for prayer in different venues; in the blooming orchard, at the cometary where we may commune with our sisters and Redemptorist friends and ask for their intercession on our behalf, or while contemplating the beauty of all God's creation illustrated by trees greening before our eyes, eagles soaring above the river, a myriad of small birds visiting our feeder. All of nature becomes a chapel.