Monasteries receive a wide variety of visitors and guests, the majority of whom come to experience something of the prayerfulness, peace and quiet of the place. For them a monastery is a place to re-group one’s resources to face life with hope and, we pray, with faith.
Some visitors are just plain disoriented. One such visitor arrived a few days ago, without warning, and managed to enter into the monastic enclosure. This was not the normal run of visitor: it was a bird. And it was not the normal run of bird: it was a young peregrine falcon. We have lots of red kites flying above the monastic grounds, but the falcon is a rare sight indeed. And to see one so close. This one was a little out of sorts, and we speculated that perhaps this youngster had flown too low and hit one of the glass walls of our cloister, and so dazed itself. It very civilly remained long enough for me to run up and get my little camera for some quick snaps, for perhaps I might never again be so close to a peregrine falcon.
As usual, photos will get bigger on being clicked with your mouse.
The peregrine is the fastest animal alive, 200 mph when diving. At that speed, one needs to pay more attention to the road. Hopefully this youngster learnt that lesson.