I am a solar powered individual, so naturally rainy days are the bane of my existence. On the morning of July 22nd, I peeled back my curtains to reveal my worst enemy: grey clouds. The day would not be ruined by them, though! I slapped a smile on and made some seriously strong coffee. When we arrived at the site, a light drizzle had started up and my face contorted into a frown. I donned my once yellow shoes and got ready to dig in the mud. As soon as I sat down in my allotted digging area, it started to pour.
An angelic voice called from the distance halting the dig. My saviors! Our fearless leaders, Dana and Dr. Young, called off the dig until the rain let up. While we waited we were going to take a tour of Abbaye Villers la Ville! I had never heard about the abbey until that fateful morning nor will I forget the time spent there.
The abbey was founded in the late 12th century under the esteemed Saint Bernard and is one of the most beautiful and spiritual places I have ever been to. Upon arrival, the monastic ruins of this magical place were coated in a light mist and seemed almost eerie. Dr. Young introduced us to the turbulent history and purpose of the abbey. As we meandered our way through the looming remnants I was in awe of the architecture and the vegetation that caressed the walls. The ancient structures were breathtaking and spectacular.
Stunned as I was at the beginning of our tour, I had yet to reach the most incredible sight: the garden. The garden of Villers la Ville felt like walking into a miniature Garden of Eden. Flowers, herbs, and even fruit burst forth creating myriad scents and sights as I entered. My breath was taken away for a moment. Happiness and amazement were the only emotions I felt.
Merriam Mistlebauer (’14)