A while ago I went through a period of intense introspection and at the end of it was a question: could I be a nun?
In the end during a trip to northern India to meditate for 3 months, it turned out that it was more a romantic notion of mine. It's not just that the hills are alive, but that those mountains in the Himalayas are damn cold....
During that trip I was so immersed in this question: will I be a nun? Can I be a nun? That I went to India to explore. In the end I got sick, sick, I want my mummy sick, and so instead of extending my stay as I had been wanting to do to continue meditating over the Christmas period I came home 2 weeks early, got on the antibiotics and watched as my dreams of being a nun seemed to dissolve and life moved in an another direction.
Earlier in the week I went to see the mole hill cottage with poppies in the garden where Little Human and I are moving in and it's got a name that I am struggling with “the Locks” - partly because I have an addiction to seeing meaning in everything and well The Locks just says Locked In to me. Before I got to the house I went to check out the local coffee shop and afterwards walked over to the wine shop where I found myself drinking aquavit at 9.30am in the morning and chatting with the owners there.
"Why’s it called The Locks?" I asked.
"It used to be a prison.” One of the gentleman answered.
I left feeling glum and convinced life was sending me a signal and yet how could it be when it all felt so right. The Locks, The Locks... When I arrived at the house the managing agent let me in and I asked her about it and she said yes yes it was a prison; it was a prison for naughty nuns.
Now I just want to make sure that I wholly do not applaud locking nuns up, but when I heard the word naughty nuns something in me rejoiced.
Because maybe there is still a nun in me and maybe I need to reconcile her a bit. And maybe I will never be able to be a nun, but I hold a respect for them that is close to reverence. For I see those women who have the courage and dedication to be nuns as carrying out work I lack the courage for and yet wholeheartedly believe makes a contribution to our world. And so as I move into my new home, The Naughty Nunnery may I say ladies you are all welcome here. This little cottage will be a house where we can dance and howl up to the moon or just sit in total silence. It will be a home where we don't have to be good cooks, or perfect mothers, or the most wonderful lovers or the most intelligent or caring or the best practitioners or always good good good or strong strong strong. We can cry and then cry some more and touch the tears of each other and say the salt, the salt, your tears are part of the ocean.
Wine is welcome, so is water. And sunsets and sunrises and camp fires and stars flaming overhead. And storms and thunder and grey clouds and sun, worms and slugs and badgers and rabbits and hares and cows and grass and earth and nettles, wisdom seeps in in strange directions after all.
The Naughty Nunnery: welcome home...
And just in case someone wants to find out about an incredible nunnery on this planet - check out Tenzin Palmo's nunnery in Northern India. Dongyu Gatsal Ling Nunnery champions women who want to become nuns, providing a safe and inspiring place for them to go deep into their practices.
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