Friday, January 1, 2010

Hope in the new year...

New Year's greetings from Slow Living Farm in Mexico! 

We hope all our friends and family had a joyous Christmas. 

Ours was a strange mix of joy and sorrow.  We invited a young woman from Czechoslovakia and her two children to take refuge on the farm until she could find work and childcare.  In the course of her living here we helped to care for her children while she worked for the gringos who live in the area.  We thought things were going well except that she never had money and her children weren't well cared for.  After a frighteningly sudden and violent sickness we discovered that she was an addict when we took her for emergency care.  We set down some rules in order for her to continue living with us and in the end she vanished with her children on Christmas eve.  All of her things are still here and we have not heard where she is.   Because we love them, we keep hope as our focus rather than fearing the worse for them.

We don't always get the "good" part in helping others and we never like it when we have to be the heavy, but one of the things we are learning is not to interrupt the lessons life is teaching.  By interrupt, I mean not rush in to "fix" things. The sooner we learn the better for everyone and no one is without effect on others.  During this difficult situation, we met many loving people who wanted to help, some of them as poor as the little family.  There is a strong unity on the side of good that is a marvel to witness.  That's a good thing to report in these times.

Despite the bombardment of bad news blaring from our satellite radio, where as Thomas Merton puts it:  "each day's disaster is the greatest announcement replacing the noise that went before it and yielding to the noise that comes after it so that eventually everything blends into the same monotonous and meaningless rumor", we deliberately resist the drone and actively hope for better things for ourselves and the world, and we notice that when we do everything moves in tandem as we exercise our hope.

Our farm is living proof.  Each year things get more beautiful, more productive, richer in every way.  Wally has expanded our collection of exotic tropical fruit trees further and everything is thriving.  Last year was a great year for mangos and soon our new mangosteen trees will produce their first fruits.  We continue to have volunteers from around the world.  Wally has refined his systems so that things run smoothly and efficiently.  We find there's not so much need for volunteers so after February it will be just the two of us.  We hope the change will leave us more time for personal projects.
We are hoping that 2010 will be all you hope it to be.  The psalmist says, "Constant has been my hope in you,"  Constant.  Hope in God and in goodness and be at peace ..constantly.

Wally & Amaranth