Retreatants gathered
at the Dominican Sisters of Peace
Heartland Spirituality Center
in Great Bend, Kansas, last week
for a time together
seeing with new eyes
our life on this “Blue Boat Home.”
Peter Mayer‘s song wove through
our days together
as we explored the Universe Story
and how those of us who have grown up
with the creation story
from the Biblical book of Genesis
can find spiritual meaning and purpose
in the continuing story
of this expanding creation.
These clergy and lay Kansans
in the Christian Disciples of Christ Church,
explored the springing natural world
in the evening following a day of light rain,
then spent a day in nature
at the Dominican Sisters’ Heartland Farm.

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Heartland Farm
is a sacred place
because here sustainability
for all
guides their every move.
This is where we at Turtle Rock Farm
first met alpacas
and first set foot in strawbale structures.
Mr. Darcy, Biak Bay and William
eventually moved from Heartland Farm
to Turtle Rock Farm
and we eventually built
a strawbale hermitage.
The women of Heartland Farm
are our sisters in so many ways.

DSCN7028Inside the Straw Bale Art Barn at Heartland Farm

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Sr. Jane introducing retreatants to Heartland Farm

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DSCN7034Making the Cosmic Walk

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Though the Disciples retreatants
had been visiting the monastery in Great Bend
for 15 years on their annual retreats,
they had not ever heard of or visited
Heartland Farm
until this year,
last week.
This is so telling
of where we are as a culture—
economically,
socially,
spiritually.
Creation spirituality
and sustainability
is, for most people, definitely
seeing through new eyes.

This time for the Disciples retreatants
was spent mostly outdoors,
learning the story of the Big Bang
alongside honoring the Genesis creation story;
re-discovering the wonder
in the natural world—
that we too
are part of the natural world;
meeting the gentle, dedicated women
of Heartland Farm.
For some of these courageous people,
the process was unsettling,
challenging, and yet
hope-filled.
Seeing with new eyes
is like that.