Be With Me, a poem and photograph from Maxine Cooper
"A Place That Holds You" by Rosie Stevens and Melanie Baulch
The lake shivers with the heat of the day hanging over it, and time ceases to creep across the land and the house at any real or certain pace.
What calls a person to Silver Wattle? It varies. But on this retreat, everyone has arrived on a quest of some kind – and it is the quest that unites us. It also unties us: it frees us from the bonds of who anyone else, in our own lives and worlds, knows us to be. It frees us to speak openly about our queries, fears, hopes and struggles. It is a refreshing and comforting freedom that asks us to face our intuitions, and discover whether our lives and actions match those our inner selves. There are few places you can go away to, to have your self – your true self, whatever that is for you – nurtured, and questioned, and heard. And now we are preparing to leave Silver Wattle with new convictions, to carry into our everyday. This is a place that holds you in every moment leading up to picking the fruits of that discovery.
Here, we escape the speed of the everyday. We learn to use discernment to always keep that normalised human speed at a distance, so we can glide through the days we return back to, in an office, or a car, or a shopping centre, or a busy café. We are offered a pace and a sureness that is of this earth. – Rosie
Thanks to the Canberra Regional Meeting for supporting Rosanna's experience of Sink Down to the Seed at Silverwattle.
I am a restless soul. I live a wonderfully busy and vibrant life doing lots of things, and I’m involved in many communities, yet I still I feel as though I am empty. So I came here to learn more about a Spiritual Living way. To find out how the spirit works. How to locate spirit. How to ‘Sink down to the Seed’ or sink down to my true self or soul. Who am I really way down there?
I was surprised to find that I am already a spiritual being. That I am already on a spiritual journey. And that I have actual spiritual gifts as well. Ones that I can share with others. And it is because of this knowledge, brought out through the learning activities of silence, prayer, listening, reading here at Silver Wattle Quaker Centre that I can now commit to living a life in Spirit. Commit to living in Spirit at all times, in thought, word and deed. To ‘let my life speak’.
One of the Elders asked me ‘How would your true self find peace?’
My reply was that I hadn’t ever known peace. Lasting peace. I may have felt some fleeting peace at times. When an argument becomes resolved for instance. Or at the beginning of a new day. Or the end of a day just before sleep takes over. Watching sunrise. A perfect view. Or within a smile. Or hug. Those Me, You, Us moments of connection. I knew peace of that sort.
But lasting, fulfilling, deep down into every-body-crevice peace? No way!
Yet by opening to the presence of The Light and allowing it to fill those very same places within me, I find I am at peace. Delicious beautiful uplifting healing peace. Peace of knowing who I am. Peace of knowing the path I am on. Peace of owning my true self. Peace of acknowledging the angels who have watched over me throughout my life. The angels who have guided me here. To today. To co-writing today’s blog. To being me.
And I give thanks. – Melanie
From Anonymous: I love the religious practice of waste management at Silver Wattle. Three times a day we get to think about what to do with our table scraps and have the model on which to base what we do when we get home.
It is a "pattern - an example". George Fox
George – A lake less traveled
By Nicholas Miller
Are you seeking? Then be free to listen, read, or scram,
now we speak of George, you see, Lake, King, Quaker, Lamb.
He's native to a woman's place, the native people say,
he comes and goes, and no one knows precisely of his way.
A king in Weereewa, A flock of one, a godly path his own,
he knows freedom in his heart, you see, one for him alone.
He's a minster of silence, somehow bold and serene,
in pages of old, freshness of rain, and somewhere in between.
The lonely loner, on his way, walks beside us all the same,
approach and bring him joy, you'll see, a soul, wise and clever, wild and tame.
Our time together, simple and brief, a dream aloft the breeze,
lies forever in the heart, vault for moments such as these.
I have been living, working and learning at Silver Wattle for the approximately three months, and expect to continue until sometime around the end of the year. My life here, though but a passing encounter, has come with a great bounty of experiences. Be that of the natural world, which flourishes from the very doorstep of this place, or the involvement within a wider community of people engaged in the awesome task of seeking the inner path. The path to wisdom, to truth, to self, and perhaps even to god. It seems that all who come here are seeking, and that is a beautiful thing. Even though my role here has been a simple one, the opportunity to contribute to a place involved in such valuable work is one I am very happy to accept. I am not a Quaker, or affiliated with any faith for that matter. Regardless, it has been with great joy and purpose that I have existed here, as the acts as seeking, learning and discerning are things I hold to be universal.
The practical experience of working here, at least for myself, has been much more gift than trial. The meditative qualities of the washing up are not to be underestimated, and the partly unexpected challenges of wrangling George back into his pen never cease to amuse. I feel I have come at a good time, where there are a number of people working in community to support each other. So long as there is continued support, I think this place will remain a very positive place to be and to work. It is with that in mind that I would strongly urge anyone with the inclination to come and be part of the working community.
With quiet enthusiasm, Nic.
Nic served here as FiR from June to October.
Contributed on the 21 August, 2016