It’s 2021, and the Happy Monk is Back!

Greetings, friends!

I hope all is well and that you are thriving as best you can be in these strange times.… Continue reading

Sad Monk, Happy Monk

The abbey gate and precinct to Boxley Abbey, near Maidstone, Kent

 I am Richard and once was a monk of the Cistercian order at Boxley Abbey, north of Maidstone, Kent. It is now the Year of Our Lord 1389, and I am far from that life of poverty, contemplation, and silence that I lived for most of my years.

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Ode to Mildrith the Wood-Fired Oven

Mildrith the wood-fired oven of the Happy Monk Baking Company, Pender Island, British Columbia
“She’s my one, my only,” I think. But I must be dreaming.

When I step outside at 2 a.m., it’s cold and dark. I find my way to Mildrith’s shelter with the light of a headlamp. Sometimes a light breeze jostles the wind chimes. They sound like an eerie, monastic night-chant. Compline.

The fire in Mildrith, the wood-fired oven, has been burning 17 hours.… Continue reading

Our Daily Bread

A mid-summer open-face sandwich with a slice of Happy Monk Einkorn bread, a slather of mayonnaise and a juicy tomato. Finished with a few grains of salt and a twist of the pepper mill. This picture courtesy of Carla Babcock. Note the fine Japanese bread knife used to slice the bread.

Anne Sullivan earned a soft spot in our heart last week.… Continue reading