Well, Dear Friends, here we are experiencing autumn.
We have to bid a fond farewell to the lushness of summer. The light dwindles, the bird songs soften, and the crickets are silent. The Earth begins to stretch out, getting ready for her long slumber, and we begin to turn inward. We slow a bit as the light fades, and we make friends with the darkness. Our outside activities wait for the light to appear in the morning, enabling us to have an extra sip of hot coffee before opening the rickety farmhouse door with the cool air meeting us, as we make our way to the barn to give everyone breakfast.
It is a time of carrying warm water (tea when I put a flake of alfalfa in it) for the chickens and goats. Time for light blankets to cover the horses, keep them cozy and protect their joints. (Our boys are older. Bodie is 24, Diamond is 23, which makes them very calm and patient therapy horses). Everyone needs and receives extra attention at the Farm, creating an atmosphere of calm and acceptance of the coming of winter.
As we begin to turn inward, our thoughts carry us to the past. Thoughts of people who loved us into being, and those who have offered us their friendship, support, and love through the years begin to appear ever so gently in our hearts and minds. We are encased in memories…And these individuals past and present cause us to feel gratitude and appreciation. Fall is a time of remembering. We honor those who gave of themselves to us along our life journey by giving to those around us: people we interact with on a day-to-day basis.
We need to be generous and kind to one another. We need to give our heart energy away in order to heal each other and the Earth. As I write this newsletter, there is much suffering and darkness in our world. War in the Middle East, the suffering in Ukraine continues, and in our own state the heartbreak of the Lewiston community. The fear is overwhelming, the suffering unbearable. However we cannot give in to it, we cannot let it define us. We are children of the light, we are the salt of the Earth. We are powerful because we carry the light and we can investigate options and alternatives in creating peaceful and safe environments. We cannot be defined by the darkness. We work and strive toward the Light.
How do we begin? By living in the circle of our own lives…practicing kindness and tolerance, and though we may feel our efforts may be small and inconsequential, they are healing nonetheless and an important defense against the darkness of despair.
Here at Ephphatha, we are most grateful for all of you. Our tiny community has a heartbeat because of all of you. Without you, we could not exist. In our own small way, we offer a light to those who need a bit of comfort when life can be cruel. We try to accompany them on life’s journey so as to dispel somewhat the feeling of abandonment and loneliness. We believe in joy, in getting up and beginning again.
So here we are in the fall, getting ready for winter winds. All our animals are healthy. We are preparing Thanksgiving dishes and desserts—some to deliver to friends, some to enjoy at the Farm and offer when people stop in. Our garden, through a wet summer, was productive: carrots, parsnips, and acorn squash are harvested and we have plenty to share with those who stop by which is always a wonderful feeling.
Harvest is a wonderful time when all the fruits of the Farm come to be. A time of joy and appreciation. We are so grateful for this beautiful farm and our ability to share it. Because of your generosity, we are able to offer the gifts of Ephphatha to everyone.
So I offer a mere “thank you” and a wish for every blessing in the days ahead!