New Years Day at Bluestone Farm

New Year’s Day we enjoyed a fine dinner of rice and Vic-Amps (the excellent dry pea-bean we grow) with sauerkraut and other sides. The Vic-Amps replaced traditional New Year’s “good luck” black-eyed peas. Vic-Amps ARE OUR lucky crop.   We ate in the warm Great Room by the fire in noisy chaos surrounded by the looms, the Christmas Tree, the crèche set up, the puzzle tables, the dozen or so rocking chairs, the out-of-tune beyond-repair piano. 

Christmas week the sisters brought instruments back from the city convent, so besides the usual clack and clatter of the loom, the frustrated groanings over the jigsaw puzzle, the increasingly louder conversations, a cello lesson commenced, and then some chamber music, then some squeaks from penny whistle, and low booms from the wash-tub bass.  That Little Cluck wandered through the room in the midst of the gaiety, followed by Bill, in one door and out another seemed somehow consonant with the cacophony. 

Emily (last summer’s intern) drove all the way from Bethlehem, PA to join us for the day.  We revelled in her cello playing and four of us (piano, recorder, flute, cello,) played a Handel sonata in the chapel before Vespers.  We ended the evening by watching “The Big Lebowski” together and laughing lots and lots.     

We each wrote a New Year’s letter to ourselves on fake “parchment” paper, in colored pens, then tied them with raffia and sealed them closed with shiny red sealing wax.  The sealed little packets are nestled in a lovely Russian inlaid wooden box for us to open next New Year’s Day.  If my letter had been a picture, I suspect it would have looked like the marginalia on the left.  I think I’m not all … attached to myself.  May this year bring us health and happiness and good growing in our souls and gardens.  And at least modest re-membering of psyche, body, and being.

But now I’m busy preparing to lead a retreat for another religious community – six presentations plus five separate sermons and daily individual conferences with the participants.  Every surface of my studio is covered with book-and-paper debris.  Bill is bringing me food today because I’ve basically locked myself in until the whole theme of the retreat falls into place and the individual talks settle logically into a coherent whole. Our community here has entered a week of “Creativity Time” so that the schedule is relaxed and I can disappear without too much disruption before I go away to lead the retreat.  And it is snowing.  Even the chickens are quiet. Lovely lovely day.

A last word before burying myself in my studio debris: thank you thank you dear readers!  Thank you for taking the “self-guided retreats” at the Edge of the Enclosure each week (or as you can).  Thank you for sharing this little corner of garden with us. 

Here’s a “last word” from  Sister Elise, my dear spiritual mentor (who lives with the city sisters of the community).  During my visit to the city this past week we spent a day together and part of that time I confided my troubles to her.  She told me of miracles she’d seen in her lifetime.  We prayed together for a miracle.  Then she said, “There’s NOTHING more exciting than the spiritual life!” 

Happy New Year, Everyone! May the year bring miracles!

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One Response to “New Years Day at Bluestone Farm”

  1. Hilary Says:

    Yes! At our Christ Church Bible study here in Ohio, we were talking about how Love brought miracles into our lives. At first we were shy about it, then one followed the other. We were lifted up by them all. Wonderful!

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