The brothers have been hard at work renovating our cow barn. These are really great times for us, all working together to get a big job done. It’s a time when older brothers pass on skills to younger brothers: like digging out, forming up, and pouring a foundation footing; or mixing mortar and laying concrete block; or putting in a new drainage system; plus all the quirky carpentry for retrofitting an old barn. A number of us have spent years working in this barn caring for the animals, going back to the early 70’s when it housed a horse and a herd of goats. It’s part of our history, and we hope it will be with us for many years to come.
Our animal barn is undergoing some much needed renovation. The barn was built in the very early days of our community, more than 30 years ago when several of the brothers were younger than I am now. The entire building has been lifted and all the exterior siding and roofing will be replaced, as well as all of the drainage, and much of the interior. Even now, with much work still to be done, one can already tell it will be a much improved home for the animals. My job was to help Br. Peter install a new dry well. Actually it wasn’t “new”, but had to be dug up and moved over a few feet for the renovations. The metal was in good shape, but some of the blocks had cracked. We could have tried to get a new drain, but the old one had served well for 20+ yrs, and will hold up for many more years. Br. Peter had installed this drain originally, and a generation later, we were working along aside each other, using the original materials given to us. It is exciting to see the new and improved building going up…. but I’m glad for the parts of the history that are being left as reminders of the lives that have gone before us.
Sometimes I look down in order to look up. (This anomaly is possible at The Church of the Transfiguration.) The mosaic floor surrounding the altar is a garden of incredible images. One morning my eyes are drawn to a tiny multicolor caterpillar strolling on a branch, on another to a long-legged moose or sunny lemons waiting to be picked. These gems of nature are there for everyone, everyday. But on that day and at that moment, I feel the Creator of All Things placed them there just for me.