Originally uploaded by lizpurdy05
Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary explains solace like this: 1) to give solace; CONSOLE 2) a: to make cheerful b: amuse c: soothe
When I think of Jubilee this word often comes to mind. For anyone here on this property–refugee, volunteer, or visitor alike, I think this place provides solace for so many. I’ll try not to get too philosophical, but in an attempt to post more regularly, I will share a recent moment of solace.
Above is a photo from our volunteer photo scavenger hunt last week. I won’t argue with the fact that it sounds like an activity for 5th graders, but it was absurdly fun (for more photos click on the flickr link and be amused… especially the three men in a tub photo!). One of the things we had to do was to all put at least one foot in the pond. The pond has rapidly gained popularity with the increase in temperature, and it is most definitely provides solace, especially after a hot afternoon of mulching!
After a dip in the pond immediately following dinner last night (I know, I know, not supposed to swim on a full stomach), several volunteers and I headed out for one of our evening walks. We tromped down to see the goats, but were stopped along the way by an encounter with a beaver. The night was quiet and we all stood silently on the footbridge for probably about ten minutes before continuing on our way. It was cool initially to watch the little guy go about his business, but after a few minutes I became restless. Um, why? Where did I have to go? At first I was annoyed by the fact that no one else seemed to be moving along and then I had to ask myself, why do I keep trying to move along? I was struck by the fact that I had so much trouble slowing down… even here at a place where not all that much happens quickly. Why not embrace this moment, like so many others at Jubilee, where there isn’t an agenda waiting and I don’t have to rush off to the next thing? Pretty much all of creation was singing around me last night on such a warm, pleasant evening, and I was focused on the action of walking, not the essence of life where I was walking.
Once we did continue on our way, we strolled into the goat pasture and at dusk just hung out with the goats, watching them munch away with their kids nearby, scratching their heads if they came close. They certainly didn’t have much of an agenda for the night.
A few of us continued to town, where we purchased the local pale ale and an ice cream bar (after burning so many calories walking we had to be revived you know). When we returned to Jubilee, we headed to the balcony of the K-house, lit some candles, and played hearts. Solace indeed.
A friend recently told me in an email he spent the entire day on the back porch of his parent’s house playing cribbage with a friend and he said it was perfect. I responded to him with this story of last night’s walk and said, “I dare say it was perfect also. I appreciate people like you who appreciate moments like that. More of that in the world and I think we’d be on to something.”
That could be a completely bogus idea, because not much of life is really ever that simple. But what if for once, we just let it be? I tried it last night and it worked out just alright 🙂