We have been busy as a beehive here lately. Some of the busy-ness is ordinary, some of it seasonal, and yet nothing in and of itself seems “Chronicle-worthy”. But, perhaps, taken all together, we might find something worth sharing.
We have had groups coming in and out every weekend for a month now. Sometimes more than one group shares our spaces. We have had a trickle of private retreatants sprinkled in between the groups, too. The volume and regularity of guests is a shift from what we have had for the past 30 months, so it is taking a bit of re-adjusting to the pace. All those guests keep the kitchen and housekeeping plenty busy. We have been blessed to have the Lord’s Ladies return on Mondays to help housekeeping with all the cleaning. We also been blessed to have some of our hosts come back to help with weekend groups.
Logging continues in the woods, so that occupies JustBob’s time most days. The loggers are down to the last section, but they are working in the most delicate area now – the woods around the Stations of the Cross and Grotto. The care required has slowed their work down considerably, yet they should finish up next week. There will be cleanup work that will continue as long as weather permits this fall, and more to do as soon as weather allows in spring. JustBob and a small but hard-working crew will start on that process on Saturday and see how much they can get done in a day.
Mother Nature has been busy painting the trees with all the autumn colors, and Brother Wind has been busy relocating those colorful leaves from the tree branches to the grass and grounds. Meanwhile, Tracy and Donna have been harvesting the last produce from the garden, picking apples, and cleaning out the dead plants, readying the garden for a long winter’s nap. Next week, attention will turn to the flower gardens and potted plants, cleaning them out before winter.
And then there is the ordinary busy-ness of the front office: planning and preparing retreats; booking hosted groups; sending electronic and printed communications to retreatants, donors, friends and supporters; answering questions; collecting payments; paying bills; ordering supplies; running the bookstore; recruiting volunteers; and a thousand other little things that keep the ministry’s wheels turning.
Ordinary is good, especially after two and a half years of out-of-the ordinary. Busy is good, too. It gives life purpose, meaning. The challenge is to not lose sight of the lessons learned in these past 30 months of the need for rest, relaxation, silence, community and time with God. These, too, are ordinary but necessary pieces of life.
For the ordinariness of routine, of work, of busy-ness, of rest, of community, of silence, and of time with God, we say Deo Gratias!