“This wine is divine! It tastes like s’more.” Virginia said as she open-handedly wiped her face of a dribble of wine that had run from her cheek to her chin; the result of a splash as she had enthusiastically finished off her wine. Her eyes danced with good humor.
With a puzzled look on his face Colin replied, “S’more? I am not familiar with that word.”
With a devilish grin Virginia continued, “Yes this wine tastes like I need ‘some more’.” She laughingly gave the punch line and we all laughed with her as none of us were familiar with the expression.
Colin motioned for the attendant to replenish our glasses. “The monastery has been growing grapes on this land for centuries. The wine you are enjoying is from a wine bottled in 1759.”
“1759? That’s the year Wolfe beat Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham.” I stated in an attempt to get into the conversation.
“Jamus, you know your history.” Colin remarked in an interested tone and he appeared pleasantly surprised. He glanced over at the dining table. “Ah, dinner is served. I am sure you are all famished from your ordeal.” Colin made a shallow bow in our direction and then motioned for us to take our places at the short table in the room. Around the table were large embroidered pillows that were harnessed in a modest wooden frame. Colin sat cross-legged on a smaller pillow atop a short wicker style bench. Attendants brought bowls of soup to us.
“I don’t know what this is, but if it tastes half as good as it smells we got a winner.” Herb stated as he shifted himself into position at the table.
Virginia cocked her head to one side to smell the aroma coming from the bowl. She dipped her spoon into the bowl retrieving some of the steaming liquid. She closed her eyes and pursed her lips and gently blew across the spoon before tasting the soup. “Mm mm delicious.” She murmured to no one. “I didn’t realize how hungry I was. Aren’t these bowls beautiful!”
As the rest of the meal was brought out little else was said, except those necessary cordial mannerisms – excuse me, pass this, pass that. Dinner was served in various serving dishes placed in the centre of the table. We were encouraged to take only what we wanted. The place settings and serving dishes were simple yet very elegant. I noticed the word “Discovery” on some of the ware.
Oddly, I ate very little. Every mouthful of food seemed fresh and alive. I could feel my body extracting every morsel of nutrition from the food. The main meal having been served, we rested, semi-reclining on our pillows. A warm cup of herbal tea was brought to us.
“This tea will help you sleep,” Colin advised as he watched us maneuver, looking for a comfortable position on the pillows after such a filling meal.
“Colin, what is it you do here?” I asked, sipping the herbal tea; it had a pleasant licorice-coffee taste.
“Here at Harmony Monastery many monks devote their lives to the power of music, the harmony of the universe, and the vibration of life. That is what we do here Jamus .”