Morning at Casa Chiara begins practically, in darkness, when MoMo, the hermitage Pomerhuahua tells us he needs to pee. Then we move to the morning room for first coffee, while Mo curls by the fireplace.
When the cups are nearly empty (and how does Mo know?), he heads down the hallway to our chapel, the west half of Christin’s office, and barks once, his sound for Oremus, Let us Pray. While Christin lights candles and incense, I organize the ribbons in the Benedictine breviaries we use to pray the canonical hours. We begin by renewing our marriage vows, then chant the Office of Readings and Lauds, even more special than usual this first Sunday of Advent. “Blow the trumpet in Zion, for the day of the Lord is near.” Between the two hours, we celebrate a communion service and share a time of contemplation.
We have enjoyed a steady, cleansing rain for the last several days, but as Lauds ends, the sun leaps into the sky and the raindrops clinging to our scrub oaks glisten like millions of tiny white Christmas lights. Morning has broken!