OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAConversation in high tunnel…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA…and living room

Two came
on retreat—
stepping aside
from intense work
for a few days of quiet,
rest,
in the peace of the hermitage,
walking on the prairie.
And when I saw them
walking toward
the barn,
I stepped tentatively onto the porch
to greet them;
they were ready to be greeted.
We stood in a warm February morning,
getting to know each other,
and discovered much to talk about,
much of interest to share.
You know when you like others,
and so often
the people who come here
are instant friends.

Next morning a dear friend
brought her husband
and their dear, long-time, out-of-state friend
to visit.
She knew
we would be instant friends.
We talked non-stop,
meeting the animals,
touring the farm
and finally, at table,
sharing information, experiences, ideas
about sustainable farming, living.
We hated to see them go.
Later that day,
we welcomed
another group of dear friends,
who come on retreat
four times a year,
which isn’t enough,
if you ask me.
Again, the sharing
was deep and meaningful
and riddled with good humor
and all-out belly laughs.
We tried to stick to a retreat schedule,
and mostly did,
but the life stories told at table
were so compelling,
so heroic,
so moving,
so inspiring,
that before we could rise from our chairs,
we simply had to pause—
naturally,
silently,
letting soak in
gratitude
for the profound pleasure,
the soul-filling sharing,
the warm gift
of life
on this planet
together.