Life in Community: the Challenges and the Blessings
Submitted by Linda Haupt
I open my eyes to a grey, cool dawn. I don my rubber boots, fleece vest and red jacket. The early morning call of the rooster and chickens guides my way. These giving birds bless the garden’s edge. Here I gather with other community members to weed the garlic patch before our work patterns begin.
A little sleepy eyed, we kneel across from one another as we work the row. We sing in unison, listen to the melodic tones of a Native American flute, share stories and, at times, we hold the silence and peace of the garden. A group photo is taken and we all scamper off to our respective work patterns.
I wash my muddy hands and exchange my muddied-knee pants for a clean pair, grab a CD entitled “Sacred Romance” and literally run to the Pavilion Living Room to focus Morning Devotions. Here I/we listen to the words of Rumi and Hafiz. I am overcome with a feeling of wild, radical, authentic love. Ahhhhhhhhh, an absolute blessing!
Time to meet my coach for our weekly check in. What’s on my “edge”? What are my challenges and blessings this week? I am gifted the opportunity, not only of time, but also to be divinely listened to. Each coaching session I find myself going deeper into the true meaning of who I am, how I can be in service to the Ranch as well as to the Beloved and where my shadows live. Practicing spiritual expression is definitely a challenge. In this safe place, I often catch myself speaking from a place of habit rather than a place of truth. It is good to catch myself. Spiritual time flies by and then clock time reveals itself and I am rushing once again to what is next on my schedule.
Practical Spiritual Study time is next where we study the teachings of Emissaries of Divine Light. We are encouraged to deepen our spiritual awareness as we are invited to listen to the words of our founders.
Guess what? It is only noontime. Another blessing comes as I eat a salad and soup prepared by loving hands from ingredients in that garden I started my day in. My challenge is eating only what I need and not to keep eating because it tastes oh so good.
Now it is time for my “work” and I am at the Front Desk in Guest Services for the remainder of the day. It is a blessing to greet all beings either in person or on the phone or by email. There are challenging situations, demands that the human capacity feels it can’t do without or complaints that need to be fielded but not felt.
One last service to accomplish on my schedule: Dinner Dish Shift. A group gathers to focus the cleaning of the kitchen for our next meal. Dishes are now clean and put away, leftovers labeled and in the walk-in, dining room clean and swept, napkins replaced.
Satiated, I head home to appreciate this day. My challenge being not to fall asleep before I dance once more with the Beloved before falling into my comfy bed.
Linda is a retired Special Needs School Teacher. Her mission in teaching was to provide the space for each student to see their magnificence rather than what was perceived as wrong. While living in rural Maine, she held spiritual retreats. Her peaceful cottage by the sea was a perfect place to be shared with others. Here she provided a place to be still and encouraged all to see the wonderful one within. In March of 2011, she moved to Sunrise Ranch in Loveland, Colorado and enjoys sharing time with parents in Maine and sons in Colorado. She entered the Full Self-Emergence Program at Sunrise Ranch. She also studies with her spiritual teacher Megan Don. Going on pilgrimages and walking in the shoes of the Mystics has helped Linda to find her innocence and let go of the stories of past experience. In 2011, she was blessed to visit The Findhorn Community and the island of Iona in Scotland. Linda loves travel, both in person and via photography via her brother’s God given talent and vision on chuckhaupt.com. When she isn’t on the Front Desk in Guest Services at the Ranch you will find her moving-dancing, hiking, drumming, or swinging in her hammock “with the Beloved”.