Monday, August 30, 2010

St. Nilus Island

Welcome to my home for at least the next month. I give you, Saint Nilus Island!

This is the common house. Below is the kitchen and a small living area, above is an office and two rooms for Mother Nila and Sister Julia. The porch overlooks the Muffins and morning sun spills into the windows, when the clouds open up and allow this. I am told this is not often, however the weather has been gorgeous since my arrival.

Here we are, Saint Nilus Island residents. Spruce Island is seen in the back. Remember this, because I have some stories about Spruce Island for a later reading.

Here is Mother Nina and Mother Nila on a spruce and moss-everything path on the island. The other two permanent residents have moved to the island over the last two years, but Mother Nina and Nila have been on the island since the beginning. The fine tuned system that I find in place right now is the fruit of their 11 years of labor. Incredible women, these two.

Mother Nila is the gardener on the island. Here she is with one half of her garden. Due to the rain this year, the gardens have not produced as usual, which means winter will be beans, rice and smoked fish. Mother Nila also has a flower garden close to the beach, claiming that it is the color in her life. I would claim the whole island, glowing of greens and blues, is the color in my life, but I have only been on the island for sunny days, so I really have no say in the matter. The flowers are beautiful, regardless.

Within the last year, the nuns and monks at an adjoining skete on Spruce Island invested in a saw mill to produce their own lumber. Here is Mother Nina in the lumber yard. My first day on the island, I was placed on saw mill duty with Sister Julia. Fun work, although I am told atypical for monastic duties. We are planing the wood for a new one room house for Mother Nila.

This is my island paradise. More pictures and stories to come! Thank you to Extreme Kayaker Hans for the pictures.

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