среда, 20. август 2014.


The view through our " window into the world "
He who has not gotten acquainted with Mikulj and who has not experienced at least a bit of Mikulj’s peace and quiet, but also the difficulty of life in the wilderness, cannot form a correct picture for himself of daily life at the monastery which is truly unpredictable during the summer months.  Mere life in the Kućaj mountains impels one to be ascetically inclined, willingly or not, which is the foundation of monastic life.
 Of course, in the monastery the emphasis is on prayer and beauty of the church services,  but during the summer season, when it is nesseccary to work in the garden and do everything else demanded by a country-mountain household, our daily life is filled with quite difficult work.
Out of the desire to ease things at least a bit for our sisters, through the goodness of some of our friends from abroad who wish to remain anonymous, our garden has been given a watering system.  It took a few days to set up the system, which is drop-by-drop.  We truly did not have the smallest hopes of such a thing, nor did we ever think that our not-so-small garden could have its own watering system,  for that had been simply impossible, even in daydreams.  
As said in the beginning, Mikulj leaves no one indifferent, nor did it our good friends, who were struck by the grace of the Mikulj wilderness and the monastic disposition of our St. John sisters.  The moment they set foot on the slopes of our free Serbian mountains, they at once began to consider how they could help us and make our life in the wilderness easier.  They suggested installing a garden watering system, which we accepted joyfully, as watering the garden “by hand” takes up to eight or nine hours a day, split between the morning and evening, which must be admitted is quite long.  It has happened many times that we did not have enough time to devote to watering, and then our harvests were quite meager. 

Hoeing and planting seedlings before putting in the watering system
Before putting in the watering system, we had to plant the garden, so that the watering system would line up with the plants themselves.  Rain prevented this for quite a while, falling stubbornly nearly every day.  Yet, with God’s help, we succeeded in bringing planting to a finish, and our friends were able to come.
The work of putting in the system was fairly quick, with the unavoidable temptations and problems which are typical for our conditions, but they are always surmountable as well, for we are all covered by the direct protection and intercession of St. John.
Our benefactors brought all the materials necessary, along with experienced workers, who in a short period prepared our garden for an entirely different life.

Joy amidst the just - sprouting vegetables
Laying out the hoses
Drop - by - drop in the greenhouse
The system of drop-by-drop watering is so regulated that from the main spring, located far above our garden,  water comes down by free fall.  At the beginning of the garden, from one large hose the water is led through four main hoses which stretch vertically across the garden.   The hoses are connected to each other by smaller horizontal hoses, which have holes on them every 20 cm where the water comes out, so that all together it looks like a huge ladder.  Every hose can be regulated with its own valve depending on whether we want to water.  One part of the hose is also controllable so that 4 liters of water come out of each hole by the hour, while another can be set to let out 2 liters of water per hour from each hole.  It sounds truly unbelievable. 

Every hose has its own spigot ( red ) wich regulates watering
A spigot in the garden - a new experince
Lord bless
Also, over those days we did serious repairs on our garden cottage in which two of our sisters live from early spring to late fall.  As the cottage is structured of beams on which here and there boards are nailed, and between them is mud stucco, we also had to make stucco with which we encased the cottage.  The mud is made of a specific kind of clay, (which we found, Glory to God, not far from the monastery), short cuts of hay and a small amount of lime.  

New garb for Vlach hut
As for as the domestic animal kingdom on Mikulj, a few days ago we were given another calf, Ljubica, and little chicks, which we hope in time will delight us with their eggs.

Glory to the Merciful God and thanks to the people of good will who strive to help our monastery.  May the Lord reward all of them richly for their sacrifice and love they grant us unworthy ones.  Life in the garden skete is now extraordinarily easier, for instead of many-hour-long standing during the watering of the garden, now we can just turn on the taps at a specific time, and that’s all!  We still can’t believe it…

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