A Quiet Crusade To Save The Redwoods

My first day inside the Redwoods Monastery on northern California's remote Lost Coast is hardly a smashing success. Cozy in my little cinder-block cell, I sleep through the 5 a.m. meditation and morning prayer and stumble into breakfast 20 minutes late. There's also the matter of eating in total silence. Monastery etiquette is an art I'm not likely to master: I crunch my granola and clink my spoon loudly, and with every attempt to suppress my exuberant eating, I only make more commotion, bumping my chair and then spilling homemade jam on the polished concrete floor. Even if I were Catholic, I see that I wouldn't make a very good monk.

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