Turtle On Moss
Girl On Moss
My friend and I have wanted to spend time at Assumption Abbey for quite a while.
But the extra effort it requires to get down there has prevented us from doing so. I think it took 4 hours and then some. Of course the drive was lovely, with good conversation and Ozark sunshine.
This Cistercian/Trappist monastery is located outside of Ava in south central Missouri on a large amount of donated land. Brother Francis said it was 5,000+ acres, but the pamphlet said 3,400. Either way, it is a gigantic piece of land with plenty of trails and creeks. I was disappointed there wasn't a map available.
The first ten years, the monks tried farming, an orchard, and vineyards to support themselves. Then they utilized the resources from the land to make concrete blocks. These blocks were also used to build the current monastery in 1970. One of the monks was injured while working at the block plant. While he was in the hospital, he fell in love with a nurse and left the monastery. Then they decided to quit block making and began to make fruitcakes. This is their current means of support.
Others living here include a group of nuns on the western edge, Franciscan monks on the north, and 2 hermits.Apparently, the Franciscans lease their space for a basket of fresh trout and $1.
I love the subtle beauty of the Ozarks Mountains. The smell of fall forest mixed with mist is incredible. We took our time leaving and ambled around down by the creek. It was a soothing end to a wonderful weekend. We left when a half-dressed man with an unleashed pit-bull and a gun pulled up.