My Visit To Carmel

As I sat on the train to London to get to Carmel, I decided to blog as I went along my journey. Lacking in an internet connection at the time I can only post it now but these are my musings as I went to the way to Carmel.

I’m writing this as I sit on the train heading for Notting Hill. This morning I was terrified. All of a sudden everything was very real and I had this moment where I wondered ‘what on earth and I doing?’ But I got out of bed and got ready and when it was time I left the house and got on the train and now here I am. I’ve got about an hour and a half left of my journey.

It doesn’t really feel real. I don’t quite feel like it’s really happening. I’ve got about half an hour left now. I suppose it’ll hit me when I get there. I’ve got the instructions that Sister gave me so hopefully I’ll find it without too much trouble.

I’m starting to feel excited now. I’ve got 15 minutes left now and I can’t believe that I’m almost there. My meeting isn’t for another hour but I need to top up my Oyster card* and and then navigate the tube. I did look up the journey and it’s not too bad, just long. Anyway, low battery so that’s it until I get home.

* For non-Londoners, it’s a prepaid card that you use to travel on public transport in London.

Ever making a good first impression, I was late. I’d set my journey up so that I arrived in London 45 minutes before I my appointment, thinking that would be plenty of time but I didn’t get to the station by the monastery until it was already the time of my appointment. And then the areas is just such a maze and there are three roads all with the same name in a row and I got the wrong one to start with. Eventually I found the right road and I made it about fifteen/twenty minutes after my appointment had been scheduled. They were very understanding, London can be so difficult to get through sometimes.

It was really lovely speaking with Sister. A really nice part of it was that this is the community my friend entered last week so it was nice to hear that she is settling in well as a postulant and that she is happy there. Sister said that if I go back for further discernment later on I can meet her, it was just too soon after her entrance at the moment which I agree it wouldn’t have been really appropriate at this stage.

One thing I really realised was that it didn’t feel as strange or uncomfortable. As I was going there I didn’t feel as nervous as I expected. It didn’t feel weird, it felt natural and that was actually quite a shock to me but I think is a really good sign. If I’d gone through the door and felt the urge to run away then that would be worrying! When I first got to the room Sister wasn’t there yet, I assume it was the extern Sister who showed me in told me Sister would be there in a minute. As I waited for Sister to arrive I was looking at the grill and thinking that I was on the wrong side of it. It was two rooms, one on the cloister side and the other on the worldly side and the grill was like a wide window between the rooms. I was surprised that Sister actually opened the grill but it was nice.

It’s made me even more excited for my visit to St. Cecilia’s. I’ve kind of got an idea now of what I want to know about and once I’ve been to St. Cecilia’s I’ll be able to make those comparisons between the two communities much better.

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