July 30 - Flora, fauna and firstfruits

It was 42 degrees Celsius in the shade by the monastery's kiln shed today, and while some nuns may be pondering Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in their fiery furnace, the garden appears to be loving it. We recently spotted two fauns in our north field, the hay in the south field was valiantly baled by a local farmer (prior to the heat wave, we had on and off rain for most of the month), and a small frog was found seeking refuge near the fragment of Notre-Dame-de-Prouilhe stone in our chapel. And, finally, the place where all our labour begins and ends (and the final destination of our dahlias too). God is good!

As the rain and the snow come down from the sky and do not return before having watered the earth, fertilizing it and making it germinate to provide seed for the sower and food to eat, [says the Lord], so it is with the word that goes from my mouth: it will not return to me unfulfilled or before having carried out my good pleasure and having achieved what it was sent to do. 
—  (Isaiah 55:11)