Why would a married woman with a thouroughly Protestant background and often more doubt than faith be drawn to the ancient practice of monasticism, where days are centered around a rigid schedule of prayer, work, and scripture? This is the question that Kathleen Norris asks herself as she found herself surprisingly on two extended residencies at a Benedictine monastery. Yet upon leaving the monastery, she felt transformed, as the daily events of her life on the Great plains - from her morning walk to her going to sleep - gradually took on new meaning. Once in the monastery, Norris found that time slowed down, offering a new perspective on community, family, and even small-town life.
Writing with lyrical grace, Kathleen Norris takes us through a liturgical year, as she experienced it both within the monastery and outside it. She offers her rare perspective on being both an insider and an outsider, how immersion in the cloister world - its liturgy, rituals, and sense of community - can impart meaning to everyday events and deepen our spiritual and secular lives.