Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Abbey of Gethsemani

  • Near Bardstown, in Trappist Kentucky, down a winding country road sitting majestically amid glorious green rolling hills is an Abbey. Surrounded by a stone wall, the Gethsemani Abbey is easy on the eyes and strong on the heart. Once inside the stone wall, my eyes filled with tears and I felt completely inadequate to be a simple visitor to such a revered and naturally spectacular destination. The afternoon was sunny and warm and a slight breeze stirring the leaves upon the many trees across the grounds. The grounds are finely manicured. A walking path leads to statues, a cemetery, and various chairs and benches scattered about as places to sit, relax, contemplate, and enjoy solitude and meditation.
  • Originating in 1848, the grounds of the Abbey began as and remains today a working farm. Many products in the gift shop are food items produced by bakers, cheese makers, wood workers, and farmers, all monks, living within the confines of the monastery of the Abbey of Gethesmani. Other items, such as handmade soaps, rosaries, framed prints, and cards are sent to sell from Abbeys across the nation and around the world. Perhaps the most unusual and likely the most practical monk made item for sale are caskets. Yes, caskets and a variety of cremation urns. Prices range from $245 to $295 for urns and $975 for a simple pine casket to $2185 for the premium walnut casket I was struck that located in this place, in this place of such natural beauty and life was the stark reality (and practicality) of death. ( Life is beautiful.

1 comment:

Walker said...

Yes, life is beautiful in all its forms.
It sounds like a nice quiet tranquil place to live and visit.