Binoculars Available to Borrow While Exploring at Holy Wisdom Monastery

Amy Alstad Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Hospitality Leave a Comment

Friends of Wisdom Prairie is pleased to share a new opportunity: Holy Wisdom now has binoculars available for all to borrow. Bird watching is a lovely activity that perfectly complements Benedictine spirituality. It invites you to appreciate the beauty of creation. It pairs well with silence, stillness and contemplation, and connects you to the many birds flourishing here as a result of our work caring for the earth. To borrow a pair of binoculars, visit the front desk in the Monastery building and speak with the porter (front desk volunteer). Binoculars are available Monday-Friday starting at 10:00 am and must …

Restoration and hope

Lynne Smith, OSB Care for the Earth, Living in Community Leave a Comment

Restoration is a powerful antidote to despair. Restoration offers concrete means by which humans can once again enter into positive, creative relationship with the more-than-human world, meeting responsibilities that are simultaneously material and spiritual.  –Braiding Sweetgrass, by Robin Wall Kimmerer (p. 328)   I made a quick trip to Illinois to visit my brother and his wife and my sister and her husband last week. It was fun to see them and get caught up even if for just a few days. It rained the three days I visited my brother and his wife in Naperville, Illinois. Since we couldn’t go …

Holy Wisdom Monastery to Restore Lost Landscape

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth Leave a Comment

  This November Holy Wisdom Monastery will begin restoring 30 acres of its land to oak savanna, considered by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to be Wisconsin’s rarest plant community. Oak savanna is characterized by widely spaced oak trees (between 10-50% tree canopy) with primarily grasses covering the ground. Before European settlement it was one of the most common plant communities in Wisconsin but now only a fraction remains. “Before Europeans arrived, oak savanna was more common than forest or prairie in southern Wisconsin,” explained Holy Wisdom Monastery’s Director of Land Management and Environmental Education, Greg Armstrong. After European …

Newly blossoming lupine on the prairie. Always we begin again.

Always we begin again

Rosy Kandathil, OSB Letters home, Living in Community 3 Comments

I stopped short, confused. The sign read: “New Prairie Planting. This is no longer a trail.” But this was the path I always took, what had happened in my absence? As I continued walking, I encountered identical signs all over the north prairie of the monastery. The little meandering side paths I used to travel were no longer available to me. Instead a large central path had been recently mown, clearly directing the way I should go. The signs were evidence of a new trail design, but I couldn’t get past my frustration. Things had changed. I wanted what I’d …

Sylvia Marek leading a prairie walk - storing September

Storing September

Holy Wisdom Monastery Care for the Earth, Friends of Wisdom Prairie, Phenology Leave a Comment

As we drank in the sights and sounds of a glorious September day on a recent Wisdom Prairie Walk, Sylvia Marek stopped to share the following poem, Storing September, which she said her mother often read to her. With deep gratitude for all the people and places that show us the way, inspire our hearts and souls, and work to preserve these places and moments of beauty, we share this poem with you: Storing September You ask me what I did today. I could pretend and say, “I don’t remember.” But, no, I’ll tell you what I did today— I stored September. …

Maple leaves blazing red in fall

Glory days

Denise West, OSB Far from home, Living in Community 4 Comments

One of the hopes I have for my six months at Holy Wisdom is to deepen my relationship with God or, more precisely, to find out what I mean when I said I believe in “God.” Though I’ve been on a path seeking God for a number of years, I have gotten to a point where I realize that I am too often trying to generate a sense of God, rather than having a conviction of God’s presence. Each day after morning liturgy, the sisters meet for chapter. When I first came as a potential sojourner in July, I was surprised and delighted …

Two sojourners working in the apple orchard.

Desde la mesa de laboratorio hasta la pradera

Paz Vital, OSB Pequeñas notas de un viaje a la pradera 2 Comments

PEQUEÑAS NOTAS DE UN VIAJE A LA PRADERA Dejar el laboratorio, mi familia y mis amigos para venir a vivir aquí en la pradera no fue una decisión fácil. Pero ahora estoy aquí esperando a disfrutar el invierno ártico por primera vez en mi vida. Estaba y sigo estando emocionada y asustada al mismo tiempo. Nací y viví en la Ciudad de México, la mayor parte de mi vida. Hace seis años, me mudé a Estados Unidos, y estuve viviendo en Houston, Texas. Así que no sé qué esperar del invierno en Wisconsin. Sin embargo, el invierno no es la …

Seeing with Delight

Trish Stefanik A Benedictine Sojourner's View, Living in Community, Monastic Life Leave a Comment

It’s July, full heat bearing down. I am dizzied by the lightness of being, buzzing and blossoming in the prairie. If you haven’t read it already do enjoy Greg Armstrong’s marvelously descriptive ode to the flora on the monastery grounds this time of year (Nature Notes Summer 2013). It seems a day does not pass that I am not exclaiming to whoever is in earshot, Wow – unbelievable! How can such lush beauty be so conspicuous where just three short months ago dead stalks covered acres of barren field? My way to Morning Prayer through the prairie now is quite …