Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lincoln Bicentennial Trip - Part 7 of 10

Now we move a little north of the Lincoln sites, to Trappist, Kentucky, and the Abbey of Gethsemani. This is a place my mother became interested in after reading several of Thomas Merton's books.

As John and I headed back to the motel in Richmond, Kentucky, I saw a small sign for this place and knew I had to stop. John was game to check it out. It's among the rolling hills and far from just about anywhere. The sign (above) is the first thing we saw as we arrived.

The abbey has been home to Trappist monks for over 150 years. We've purchased a number of food items from them over the years: fruitcakes, cheeses and fudge. While in the gift shop, I purchased some preserves (made at another abbey). We watched a video when we arrived.

A wider view of the abbey shows a garden area in the foreground.

Why not get closer? I walked towards the doorway and found signs stating "no talking beyond this point" and as I passed the few other people that were there (tourists?), they merely smiled at me and walked on. It was as peaceful a place as I've ever been. There is a cemetery on either side of this walkway (visible on the right of the above picture). See the door up ahead?

Here I am inside that opening and shooting back along the walkway in the opposite direction.
It would have been nice to have a longer time there. If Thoreau hadn't found Walden, he'd have been happy with a place like this, I think.