We enjoy these days too,
in this quieter, on-the-verge-of
a fallow period—at least as far
as our programmed retreats
and guest arrivals go.
It’s a time to catch our breath,
get to the put-off tasks,
put things in order,
make visits,
watch the birds,
plan for next year: We are working
on our 2015 calendar
and updating our website.

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Yesterday, we bade farewell
to our last retreatants of the year,
the dear friends, the “Shepherds,”
who come four times a year
to spend some time together,
stepping aside from work,
sharing our lives,
discussing some of life’s relevant issues,
celebrating community and the Earth,
wrestling with spiritual understanding…
eating,
laughing. I am always glad
when they are coming,
enjoy every moment of their presence
and pause when they go,
acknowledging the gratitude I feel to know
and be in community with
such kind, gentle, funny, open-hearted,
friends
committed to justice
and care
for all.
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