LEISTON ABBEY – Refectory Window Our baptism of fire, to be rescuers, occurred in 1997. Appropriately it seemed in a place of peace, of baptism and seeming spiritual strength, but we found it had become the victim of dreadful and deadly dissolution in 1536. Four intrepid travellers wanderers in a weary world, feet in this and reaching for the next we became the bridges in between. Peering into the past, reaching into ruins, searching for tenacious truth, feeling for a furbished future. Another ruined Abbey. The altar stands alone, alone in space and time a choir of shadows and silent songs. Soon each in our separate ways begin to feel, to see, to hear. (Stones hold their memories tight) De-glazed windows still allow the light and portals provide openings to pathways old. Story lies are written bold and signed in gold for all to see, but hold a softer story than the truth when it is found. Bright morning held the prospect stepping with concern in cloisters old, respectful footsteps light became weighed with unknown heaviness. The legend tells that ordained monks were rehoused in other holy places, but looking down … our feet were stuck in pools of blessed blood. Suddenly the silence spoke the unthinkable, the unbearable broke We heard the screams, felt their pain the visions were too sorrowful to see. Stained white and black habits Their mutilated bodies spilled precious essence on the hallowed ground as angels cried and mourned aloud. When we four came together again refectory became the place of tears, hugs and temporary consolation at least for us, for a while. The once sombre grey slabs stained with their sweat and blood now replaced with green we saw turned to darkened red. Feeling their fears and maimings wetted by our own tears, nothing compared to their fate from faith dreadful deaths, hovering wraiths. On return to our lodging for the night in the midst of our meal in our own simple refectory the Abbot found us by the auric light. 'Help us, help me and the brothers' he cried in desperate anguish. 'We did no wrong, please help us, we are lost. Can you guide us home ?' So the gift was brought to the fore through the same refectory window we answered their call, their plight, we called the light. With patient prayer and careful coaxing their consciousness was turned. They were directed back to love to the rightful place of asking. We were left drained and tearful no further appetite for more repast, but we were grateful to have brought to brothers across the ages, peace at last. In love and faith Hanukah. We returned to Leiston later and found it rescued and refreshed, a pleasant place with no hint of its dreadful past. The picture of the refectory window was used thereafter as the portal to send those lost in limbo back to the light.