“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child—our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
“…All is a miracle”. Often I find it easy to notice the hardships, the ugly, and the pain for which is driving around in truck loads and reaching every corner of this beautiful planet. And although it is important to notice this, I would venture to say it is more important to notice the beauty that surrounds us. Despite the harm and the damage this planet is suffering, blue skies, white clouds, green leaves, and many other wondrous and miraculous inventions of our Lord flourish, and that is something to be thankful for.
My name is Kate Krogstad, and I am the newest member to join the Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences team. More than anything in the world I seek beauty; beauty in the form of joy, all forms of joy. This often leads me to new places, new people, and new experiences. Most recently it led me back to camp. When deciding on what my next pursuit of joy would be, I looked back at my past year and found the two most joyful things to bless this Earth to be children and animals. Where best to have both of these joys around me then at Luther Glen Farm?
What ranks children and animals on the top of the joy triangle? They both require a sometimes extravagant amount of our attention, and (at least in the farm animal’s case) insist on sitting in your lap despite the fact that the snow for which you are unaccustomed to has soaked through your jeans. That’s probably just a me problem though… And yet, the love in which they give is filled with innocent joy and is given so purely that when allowed could bring happiness to all.
Every creature, ant to human, has a role on this Earth, and with these jobs, comes personalities. These personalities are formed through lives in which each lives and they tell a story. Take the farm for example. At a quick glance it’s a beautiful classic farm with the safeguard red barn, the chickens, goats, pigs, and horses, but it’s more than that. If one were to take a mindful walk through Luther Glen Farm one would notice:
The baby chickens: (whom look like mini dinosaurs) are curious about the world around them and love to run as fast as they can in any random direction.
The pigs: love belly rubs and they know that if one walks into the shed around 4:00 P.M. and they make enough noise that they will get fed first.
The alpacas: are curious but just want to stare at you, and the sheep, more than anything want head scratches, and to have their face as close to yours as possible.
Pepper: our pregnant pony who wants to be loved and is learning that we love her.
Chuck: the pony who should have been named velcro due to his habit of following anyone around so close that one cannot turn around too quickly.
Our loyal dogs: Annie, who hops like a bunny for food, and would sit in one’s lap 24/7 if possible. Ranger, the 90 lb. puppy who likes to make obstacle courses to play in and crawl through. Shasta, the most loyal of the three dogs who is constantly smiling and sacrifices her dinner for the possibility of cuddles.
The goats: each of them holding extremely unique personalities. Esther and Laura-Beth being the matriarchs of the herd are extremely strong and tough but become love-bugs once head scratches are given. Nugget (the smallest goat) loves piggy back rides. Sarah, loves falling asleep with a person as her pillow. Agnes loves to talk (scream) as loud as she possibly can. Moses, jumps and twirls in the air when food is being served. Grace is a soft soul and just wants to stand by you, but can also balance on any tiny little wall despite being one of our tallest goats. And finally, one would notice little Regina; the smallest of our mama goats, is simply happy if she can be next to her best friend Agnes.
I am thankful for all of these joyful personalities and am blessed to call Luther Glen Farm my home. These animals, these sentient beings, are my family, and the innocent love they gift gives me joy.
“All is a miracle.”