Tuesday, August 14, 2018
There is a saying, "When we make great plans, God laughs." This must be for our amusement, to laugh at ourselves, for God does not laugh at our efforts. Rather, he cheers us on, trying to direct us. We need to be open to him, to listen hard, to pray hard, to use our intellect and make the best decisions we can.
My husband, a retired Army officer, uses an Army saying, that the "plan is everything and the plan is nothing." It is important to plan, but one must be keen on adjusting the plan when needed. That would certainly work for my monthly menu planning, which rarely is followed exactly (or even closely). The effort is not wasted. The intention is good. In truth, the Army saying has given me peace. Imperfect efforts are not failures. We are truly works in progress.
The Abbey Farm was bought with the intent of us living here "until the nursing home." Plans have changed. For health reasons we are moving on. It is a sad decision, prayed over for some years, but clear and logical now. Though we thought this farm was our forever home, it seems that it is not. God is not laughing. We know it was his plan all along, and that gives us peace.
Perhaps my ancestors, the Greenes, felt similarly. Once the Barons of Runnymede, they owned a lovely castle in Waterford called Kilmanahan. In 1852 the family sold it. I visited the ruins of it in 1984, when backpacking through the UK. There was wonder as well as a sense of sadness walking through the crumbling halls, ancient plaster mouldings littered around me. Last Spring I happened upon a brilliant blog, The Irish Aesthete. The author photographs and investigates the history of different buildings in Ireland. Much to my delight, he wrote about Kilmanahan Castle. I contacted him and shared the photographs from my "pilgrimage." He was very gracious. In the Spring of 2018 he included in an addendum to his original post about Kilmanahan.
I have always thought that we are stewards of whatever home or property we live on. Since we do not live forever, should we not ideally care for that property as well as we can? I feel the same about our planet. None of us is perfect, yet good intentions do matter.
On a final note, I returned to Maine to bring my son back home. It was hard, his being away for the summer, but he is home now, and my heart is joyful.
Joy is a mystery. It can be present in sadness, in chaos, in tragedy, and in moving on when our heart is still attached.
God bless you all,
The Abbey Farm