Hail, August Autumn! Please stay and visit for a while. Your cool days and chill nights have allowed us to silence the summer’s perpetually churning fans. What a gift it is to listen – calming our hearts, our minds, and most of all our ears – as the hallways of this hallowed House settle into blessed silence beneath the blue gray gray blueness of an almost-autumn’s sky. We exhale, relax, and find peace with the world.

The wind has made its presence known for the past two days, raging with an odd sort of gentleness that seems more a harbinger of spring than of autumn. Brother Wind was probably more of a hindrance than a help to the Marathon Volunteer Fire Fighters last night, as they worked from approximately 9:30 pm until approximately 4:00 am to put out a barn fire about three miles from here. As far as we know, Sisters Grass and Wildflowers and the tiny insects who make their home therein were the only casualties of this accident. While we mourn the loss of any gift given to us from the Creator, we give thanks that no other living creatures were harmed.

Our woods stand safe and secure through the wind, each tree sheltering the other from each gusty blast.

Brother Wind is also interfering with my bike-riding plans. I had hoped to do my usual fifteen-mile loop with Aster this evening, but the headwind may be more than I want to tackle. Aster and I are still getting accustomed to one another, and I’m not entirely certain that I trust my balance on such a slender-wheeled bike well enough to hold my own against the wind. I could make my loop on Mollusk, instead – Mollusk and I have a very comfortable relationship after two years’ worth of bike commuting between Johnstown, OH and Granville, OH almost every day of the academic year.

Yes – it’s true: I named my road bike Aster, and I named my commuter bike Mollusk. Mind you, Mollusk was unnamed before Aster entered our lives. But it seemed only fair to bestow each of these traveling companions with a name. And so Mollusk it is for the trusty Trek. Why Mollusk, you ask? When the two bicycles’ names are taken together – Astor and Mollusk – they create a tribute to the Gemini twins – Castor and Pollux. May Astor and Mollusk, like Castor and Pollux, be blessed with favorable tailwinds. And so we circle back to Brother Wind once more.

Perhaps it was Brother Wind who deposited the mystery bowl of salad on the southeast corner of the northernmost table in the refectory at lunch today. It was a lovely salad – and ready to eat, with a fork placed conveniently to hand! But no one knew whence it came. Such are the endless mysteries – the joyous little sparks of amusement – that enliven this house. Blessed is the community that sees the humor in a mystery bowl of salad.

Deo Gratias!