Sunday, August 28, 2011

Déjà vu…

I hope that despite this not-so-irenic storm, that everyone is having a blessed Feast of our Holy Mother’s Dormition. Here at Jordanville it’s quite wet and windy, but we’re still dry and warm at the dorm.

Once again I’m hitting the ground running. I got here last Tuesday, having taken a red-eye from SFO and transferred in DC. Despite my nearly complete lack of rest, I quickly adjusted to the monastic schedule and am now sleeping normally. Things here are the same as ever, but with several interesting changes, including new seminarians! Along with a certain PK from San Francisco, there are also two students from China, plus a guy from Sweden. From what I hear, there will be about 13 to 14 new students this year.

I’m pretty happy to have my (sort of) brother Chinese* here. The other day, I had my first taste of real pu-erh tea. The tea comes in a brick shaped roughly like a frisbee. Using a pick-like instrument, some leaves are cut out, and then steeped in a tiny pot. The leaves are reused several times, producing a subtly different flavor and aroma each time.

We also just celebrated the Feast of the Dormition today. I was in the kitchen, just like last year. In fact, it all felt like déjà vu. Not only was I assigned to kitchen for Dormition 2010, I also attended the English vigil at the cemetery chapel, as well as confess (to the same priest, even!). Thus, the cycle is complete. I’m ready to begin a brand-new year, full of much of the same, but with interesting variations.

*my late grandmother was Chinese.

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