30 January 2009

WinDs oF cHaNgE...


It's been only 2 weeks since I came back but it seems like so much have happened already...
I'm still in a winter season, so a bit more introspective still...
Let me try then to share some of the latest news around here at the Mount of Oaks...
Today I almost finished the main structure of our prayer shelter...This is how I found it (picture below) when I came back... It was a bit sad to realise that the wind blew the roof cover away, and things were just stored out of the rain till now... For me this is such a central and vital place of the community...

a place for us to retreat with God, a place to hide sometimes, a place to seek comfort, wisdom, peace, joy, a place to seek God together with others... yes, for me this is the place from which all the others things emerge... And I felt as I came back that something in the air was different...I couldn't tell exactly what it was, but it was different...
We met together the day after I arrived and I was surprised to hear some things I heard... still don't know where those things came from, or if they were always there, but hidden... In the end I was glad things got clear... we discussed around the vision of this land, and some were not totally agreeing with what was posted on the new blog ... I didn't want to sound arrogant, but I had to say that when I shared about the vision for this place (which everyone agreed), and when I posted it on the new blog , the idea was not to be changed... Some people were not so comfortable with this, cuz they wanted to change the vision to fit theirs...
Anyway, I don't want to go on details here, but in the end it was basically decided that Josh and Rosie would like to go to some other friend's land in Algarve, as their vision is more to live in a permaculture farm with few friends, and not having the constant flow of people as we have here... I totally supported them in their choice, as I would not like that anyone who live here would not really fit in the vision for this community... Hospitality being one of the most important things we'd like to offer... welcoming the strangers and weary wanderers whenever they show up...
This is a farm, yes, but not only that...a monastery, but not an exclusive and inward focused community... we might be exclusive when we say this land is God's , and the Spirit of this place is Christ's, but this same Spirit is ALL inclusive (even though people might try to confuse "Christ" with "Christianity" or "Christians" )... we might be exclusive when we say we want to develop permaculture and not other kind of intensive agriculture, but we'll also include all other sorts of ideas and ways to care for the earth as long as it's respectful and not harming...
BEING INCLUSIVE AND AT THE SAME TIME DISTINCTIVE, has been a question in my mind since then... I believe we can be both... we don't exclude anyone, but because of some distinctive values, or pillars in the vision for this place, some people might exclude themselves... Anyway, this could develop in extensive philosophies that I'll not develop here...
Ton also shared a desire in his heart to live in a smaller place with 4 or 5 people who would vow to live in total silence, except for some reflection seasons where they would have some teaching or something along these lines... Interesting!!! I encouraged Ton to go for it... I think something that it's very important in a community is that people know what they want, and follow it... and not try to drag others along...
I surely don't want to drag anyone in this place... so, now the vision is clear, and those who desire the same will come and feel connected to the place...
I believe this vision is God's, and we can only see a glimpse of it... But as it is God's, also those to whom God is sharing the same will come ... Of this I'm sure :-)...

Anyway...since that day I have these words in my mind..."winds of change"... and the WIND keeps blowing... and it's a season to let The Wind bring the change... As I re-build the prayer shelter I keep thinking about that... TO BUILD IN STRONG FOUNDATIONS...I'm planning a more stable prayer shelter, stronger, and hopefully it will last a bit more than a year... I like when things don't last anyway :-)
Like my house as well... This is my next project...
It really needs fixing... re-new... strong foundations...
a cool green roof :-)... and a bath place inside...oh yes!!!
I'm just waiting for Peter to move from the guest room (he's building a shelter for himself) so I can stay there while I build the roof of the house... I want to finish the prayer shelter first, of course, but I hope I can have my roof ready before the permaculture course...

Speaking about Peter...he's a very nice and friendly man who arrived 2 weeks or so ago... he came from Germany by bike, and hitch-hiking from south France after a truck smashed his bike...He's gonna stay till April and then keep going on the road to Italy... one of those pilgrims we are so blessed to welcome here and offer shelter...

Line is back as well... here cleaning Zebrita's feet... she was just waiting to sell Zebrita and go to France to join a "Christian Community" where she met a good old friend... but this week she found out that her friend is coming here with his horse... so , that might take 5 months till he arrives... So Line asked me if she could stay and she will not sell Zebrita yet... Of course I said that would be no problem...
Nonolito will be very happy about that too :-) It 's so nice that Line is back here, and we're having such cool times praying together and having lots of questions about the Bible and Jesus...

Actually , we (me, Line, Carly, Ton, Jared, Peter and Darek) have been having really cool meditative prayer times each morning... at the moment in the big bus till the prayer shelter is ready... And once again I see how this is so important and creates such a special bond between us all... Of course we can have fellowship with people in so many other ways, or even with God...but there's something special when we pray together...One in mind, heart and Spirit... this is where we see each other's hearts, and where God's heart is shown through each one, in each one...

Anyway... most of the days so far have been cold or rain, with some nice sunny days, but not many...
this give us more time for indoor activities, like Carly making this amazing basket... or many other stuff we can entertain ourselves with in the big bus...we can even make fire inside and stay warm, so that is inviting !!!

Oh, and look how much snow we've been having...

for 2 times, each time for 1 or 2 days, we had the mountains around covered with snow and it actually snowed in the land, but not enough to stay... sooooo beautiful !!! This is quiet rare here , that's why it's so amazing for us !!!

Nature inspires us...Nature calls us to retreat... Nature calls us to gather and get cosy around the fire... Nature calls us to reflect and contemplate... Nature calls us to admire... Nature calls us to change... Nature calls us to move on... Nature is never static...
neither do we... we are like the Wind...

3 comments:

matew said...

To Baba,

you remember our little Mango discussion some months back? ;-) Now ok, we've got different styles of dealing with the world, but I must say, there's a good reason why I respect your permaculture thing. That is, potential economic crisis. A hot issue currently. I've thought about our economy, and I cannot but say that this widespread total dependence on the "system" cannot be healthy. People should at least be able to care for their basic needs without the economic system being functional. But most are not able to, nowadays. Which makes economic crisis such a dangerous issue.

On the other aspects of permaculture, we could probably have a lengthy little discussion. If you like ... but no real need, currently. Just stick to Jesus and what he tells you, sister ...

warm greetings,
matew

Whitney said...

I'm so glad you guys are getting closer, having fun times indoors around a fire, and praying together. It sounds like the land is becoming more and more what you visioned it to be! I'm so happy for that!

That basket that Carly made is great! =)

Hope you have some more sunny days so you can work on your hut and the prayer shelter!
Hugs,
Whitney

steve said...

sounds like a lot is going on, miss you guys, miss the countryside, miss the dogs....say hello to tom and huck for me.

grace
from shteeb