Hard blessings

In the last couple of months, we’ve heard the locals worry about the almost complete lack of snow.  People were finding ticks on themselves and dogs, the water table was dropping, and ice-fishing, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and many other winter sports had been thwarted. But in early February the snow started – at first a few inches, and then regular storms bringing 5″ or more. It’s been so beautiful to watch the landscape transform, and staggering to see Jake, Greg, Scott, and EJ working outside on all but the most bitter days (and sometimes in T-shirts!)  Limina’s beauty and healing shines through no matter how icky the weather. Bill and I are determined to be on the land no matter the conditions, so have made several trips to the LLBean outlet in Ellsworth.  We’re deeply experiencing the wisdom of the old Norwegian saying “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes!”

While being wrapped in beauty, the last month has brought some disappointments and heartaches. Despite the incredible work of our construction team, the exterior of Limina is still a work in progress and currently the front entry is not safe. And we experienced a health crisis in our family when our 2.5 year-old rescue pup, Abby, suddenly went into renal failure. We have been working incredibly hard to help her heal and praying her body can overcome the trauma she has experienced during this crisis.  Given these realities, we made the difficult decision to cancel our opening retreat, scheduled to begin on March 10. Thankfully, the guests who had signed up for that retreat were gracious when we asked them to switch to our NEW opening retreat April 14-18. This also means there’s time for you to sign up!

While disappointed and emotionally wrung out, I can already taste the blessings of these changes.  We have had some precious days with Abby, full of joy and will always remember them no matter where this illness leads. The sudden change in the weather also forced some “cozy” time at Limina, where we worked on indoor projects and enjoyed the fire. While I’ll miss being with guests in March, I look forward to some personal retreat time at Limina while Bill and Angela attend a forest-bathing workshop at Kanuga in North Carolina. In my devotion at the Habitat for Humanity worksite, I reflected on how we respond to those events in our lives that turn things upside down. I hope you’ll listen through to the end, when we were blessed by Carina who shares her story of becoming a homeowner. Please excuse the lower quality of her story as she was standing across the room from my microphone. May the Spirit bless us all to see in sudden change the opportunity for awakening to the presence of the divine constantly at work in our lives.