At our hotel there was a placard on the wall. It read: "We're making changes." Our trip to Nourish Vermont has had its push back. When Jan faced retiring, going to the country club, to stand up in front of her peers and be recognized for her service, the many years teaching art, and all the previous years doing Parents As Teachers. The applause, the feelings, emotions, and turning in her classroom key to the front desk. It was like a huge weight falling off the shoulders. Bittersweet. Her connection to all the students, memories of hugs and exchanges. "We Are Making Changes." I put that phrase in my journal.
Another placard said: "Change is brewing." A coffee ad, for sure. The words jumped out at me. Like a whisper from God.
Being miles away from home, wanting to switch hotel contracts, I felt helpless. Weak. The desk manager at the Hilton Express Inn went to bat for us, using her resources to advocate for us, and help switch the contracts for us. It was so awkward, and yet I felt like God was fighting our battle through that stranger in ways that seemed miraculous.
June 1st -- Friday morning we all gathered in the Coach Barn for the Nourish Vermont conference. Folded chairs ready for people with notebooks and pens. We sat behind a couple from the Finger Lakes region, Renee and John. She was doing geneology on her folks and she shared a website with me to find old newspapers for my own research on Alfred Fowler.
The brick arch entrance went up in 1901. High pitched slate roofs. It reminded me of something out of Hogwarts in the Harry Potters movie series. In front was a low stage where speakers would make their presentations. Jan was all into this. I came along, not knowing what would come of this. Days after the two day conference I began to sort out my own memories. The ones that meant something to me.
Each morning began with a couple who helped attendees leave their external matters behind -- to center -- to make a space within for something new -- to begin afresh. The first morning was about SOUNDS produced by resonating crystal bowls and chanting. I let the modality wash over me and drew in my journal, swirls and doodles that come when I am resting. Inside my inner thoughts settled on the love note I was fashioning for the Lord.
The next morning opened with a drum.
I enjoyed listening to Jeff Leach, as he talked about the health of stomach biomes in Africa. How tribes perceived to be sicker than the American lifestyle, actually enjoy a richer and more diverse gut bacteria and are far healthier for it. Nick Pineault, an advocate for personal moderation when it came to exposure to electronic smog. Jan enjoyed Jack Kruse and Everything.
There was a lot of science spoken about. Discoveries that had been made at the cellular level.
On Sunday, the day after the conference was over, I spent time out in the sunshine -- shoes off my feet -- glasses off my face -- journal across my lap -- reflecting. Here was something that summed the conference up for me:
How those who marvel at the engineering -- they fret -- they stammer -- they are puzzled -- they scratch their heads -- and suggest we must fear and panic and question.That morning in the sunshine, waiting and listening. Contemplating the times I have been helped by the Lord. The words of encouragement He put in my mind that lifted me. The way He drew my mind into a precious embrace. Soon phrases came, His soothing touch, His calm. ------ I jotted down the fragments that follow here:
Consider the birds of the air they do not labor -- and your heavenly Father provides food and shelter for them.
He makes it possible for amoebas without organs
to sense food
to move toward it
to surround it
and consume it.
How much more does He think of you and meet your daily needs.
The Zone I was in became an open channel. I wrote what was on my heart, it like a dialouge. An internal back and forth. The words spoke to me as I jotted them down:
Lord, this morning -- after two days at the conference -- I look to You, Jesus. The science of the complexity in the cell -- machines and motors You created to do protein tasks -- its fragility -- how things can go wrong -- but how You think on it and cause it to work==!!!
When You command us to: seek Your face, Lord -- call on Your name -- to Rejoice in Your Majesty -- Your ability to order the movements -- SO TINY -- SO MARVELOUS -- SO PRECISE -- SO PRODUCTIVE.
to be known by You -- to be held by You -- to be led as Your sheep, as Your friends, as Your handiwork == giving You praise in the midst of sorrow == midst of doubt == midst of now.
air passages tracheal tubes in ants bring same oxygen I breathe to THESE God makes to breathe. so small = to eat, to drink, to breathe, to live.
Your heavenly Father takes care of them. BELIEVE IN ME == for Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God / colossians 1: 15 ==== all things are held together by the power of His voice / hebrews 1:3 ====
The ant drawing the tubes the smallness. Remembering as I drew it down.
Later on, I was doing laundry upstairs. humming then singing to myself. and joy drew away the anxious dullness I felt.