17 June 2015

Sacred Heart Fires and Cooking Dinner

Sunday night, upon arrival at the Castle we settled back in, cooked dinner and did some homework, then climbed to the top of the tower to view the Sacred Heart Fires. In South Tirol there is a tradition to climb, high up the mountains, and light fires in beautiful shapes (crosses, hearts, etc.,) in celebration of God's deliverance of the Tyrolleans from the Napoleonic forces. In the 18th century, as Napoleon's troops marched ever closer to the Tirol, many of the leading family in the area met together to discuss strategy. The Abbot recommended that they dedicate themselves to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and trust that he would save them. The Tyrolleans committed to setting the fires once a year on a Sunday evening in memoriam of this dedication and salvation from Napoleon's troops.

My pictures of the fires did not turn out so well, but it was a sight well worth seeing! The fires are gorgeous on a dark night, glowing across the valley. It is a ritual, a lovely tradition that requires a great deal of commitment as mountaineers hike up into the mountains, carrying kindling and petroleum in their backpacks.

The next morning, Monday, was relatively uneventful. The highlight of my day had to do with food.

Lunch with Brigitte was sumptuous, as always. Dr. de Rachewiltz was not feeling well, so she made some chicken soup! So sweet. She is not only an amazing cook, but a very nice person as well.

Tea with Mary was a grand affair. It rained all day, so we could not have tea on the terrace, rather it was moved into Mary's apartment. Kasey and her family were there (it was nice to meet her mother and siblings) along with a UTD art professor, Dr. Rosen, who came to show us Venice this weekend and arrived on Monday, Betsy (a literature professor from St. Andrews, I enjoyed talking to her about Jane Austen), most of the students and Michi - a full house! It was the largest tea I have attended, full of conversation and learning.

Then later that night I made dinner for the group. It was very fun! I have never made gravy or pork chops before, but they turned out well. I was pleased.

 Then it was time for reading and my bed! A very cloudy, rainy day,  redeemed by good food and conversation. More to come soon from Castle Brunnenburg!

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