Grace for the Work Day

09-11-2015 | Lindsay

On Saturday of the Labor Day weekend, many friends of Rolling Ridge came together to help us haul and split wood for the winter, clean and re-organize the Retreat House, fix the spring, and tend the garden. This is an annual, joyful event, filled to the brim with good work, good food, and laughter. At 1 pm we paused for a festive potluck lunch, before which this grace was offered:

In her introductory paragraph to the September issue of the Friends of Silence Letter, (this month, appropriately, on the theme of work) Linda quoted Wendell Berry:

"Good work is a way of is unifying and healing...It defines us as we are: not too good to work with our bodies, but too good to work poorly or joylessly or selfishly or alone."

These past few days, I've thought while wandering around here in anticipation of our annual work day that this forest is a very busy place. For all that I tend to experience Rolling Ridge as a place oozing presence and quiet, every being in it works all the time. They hunt and gather, pump sap up and down, churn earth, manufacture oxygen, pollinate, burrow and tunnel and carry. Everyone has a job, and that job connects to other jobs, and those to more jobs, creating and re-creating constantly the community we call Rolling Ridge.

It's pretty good work, and those of us who walk around in it reap its abundant rewards: the filtered light under the green canopy, the iridescent wonder of spider webs, the rich smell of loamy earth, the flute-song of birds and insects on their daily rounds.

I'm encouraged by the thought, as today we pull, and heave, and bend, and haul together, that we also are not too good to work with our bodies. Today, everyone here has a job, and our job connects to all the other jobs, and it is way too good to be joyless or done in loneliness.

We are thankful, today, to be working together, to be part of this community, to be connected, to be rich and joyful and blessed. Amen.