Autumn and Solstice Gratitude
Our Harvest Festival was held at our Open House on Saturday, October 2nd. Because of Covid, we held the event outside. It was a cool cloudy day but thank heaven the rain held off. Everyone who attended was warmed by hot cider and lots of smiles. Of course, the boys (our horses) stole the show and they genuinely loved the attention and treats. Bodie, our Irish Draft, loves little girls and nuzzles them with his velvet nose very gently until his little friends respond with “ohs” and “ahs” and a piece of apple or better yet a peppermint (Bodie’s favorite). We had pumpkin painting, cookies, and tours of the gardens which were still blooming as we had a very late frost. Some friends got to take home some herbs to dry, hopefully, to use for the upcoming Thanksgiving Feast. We also had baskets filled with homemade wine, Maine-made crafts and foods, and local gift cards to raffle off. These were all donated by our board members to help raise funds for our animal (replacement) post fencing, feed, new footing gravel material for the horse stalls and paddocks, and wellness check-ups by our veterinarians (Annabessacook Vet office in Winthrop, Maine) for the horses and goats. Our Open House Day was so successful!! We had sixty people come by to make donations and wish us well in our mission to provide various rewarding agricultural experiences to individuals with physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges, and to create a healing community where everyone, regardless of disability is welcomed and valued.
Gratitude flows naturally from the harvest we experienced in October’s Open House. November is the month of coming together to share a meal and really think about, appreciate and verbalize our blessings. We had wonderful friends stop by and share the festivities of the month. We exchanged recipes, fellowship, laughter, and quiet time. We were reminded of past Thanksgivings with loved ones who are no longer with us physically but are always in our hearts and minds. We look forward to sharing with new friends, creating new moments and memories to cherish and remember.
Last night was the last night of Hanukkah. I had the great honor of being invited to light the menorah at a dear friend’s home. The ancient prayers were said as the candles were lit and I had the sensation that all of humanity should be part of this beautiful ritual that brings so much light and hope into the world. Often it seems that we can be at odds with one another. Sometimes we disagree with each other over various ideas or assertions. But in essence, we must remember we all respond to the light. And we need to interact with each other with compassion, with the certainty that the darkness of misunderstanding will always be extinguished by the light of kindness even when we disagree. We connect with each other through our shared humanness. This is the time of year where we are reminded that light always overcomes darkness. We must live in hope. “Hope is the patient and trustful willingness to live without full closure, without resolution and still be content.” Richard Rohr Daily Meditation, Center for Action and Contemplation 12/5/21.
This is the time of gratitude, hope, and light which is transformed into joy. We come together especially at this time of year to celebrate joyfully!
December is the time of solstice when the light begins to return to the earth. Families and friends come together to celebrate their various traditions. However, the common denominator of this joyful time is being together in light and love.
We are so grateful and joyful for the initiative of our Farm, for all our animals, our forests, and fields. For our dedicated Board Members, and all the friends who come to participate in our Farm Life, and community. And of course, we are so overwhelmed by the generosity of our supporters who through their belief in our mission, help to finance our farm activities and provide the accommodations necessary for individuals with challenges to gain access to the farm, the natural world, and the healing properties which exist therein.
Our hearts are overflowing with Gratitude and Joy!
Happy Joyful December everyone. Look for the light returning with the forthcoming solstice!
Robin for EPHPHATHA