Kaye Wright, Victoria Regional Meeting
There is something extra ordinary about Silver Wattle Quaker Centre. People often comment on the land – that it has a healing quality. I feel this is true but there is more to it than that. I think it may be the loving intent grounding the community and all who visit. Prayer is daily. All people and activities are “held in the light”. This can be felt tangibly and contributed to. I think this is the special ingredient of Silver Wattle. This is the blessing it offers to all who visit or know it.
I have just come back from a week’s stay. It nourished me deeply in ways I don’t quite understand. I enjoyed getting to know the people in the onsite community, most were Quakers but not all. The experience of being a part of a community, rather than a family or partnership is pretty special. It’s a different, more inclusive way of living. I’ve found it broadens my senses of awareness, inclusiveness and consideration. I am thinking more than just about me or me and my partner. I am part of a larger group.
One day I was walking up to the escarpment. The path follows a zig zag course up the hill with fungi and bits of skeleton and wombat scat on either side. At the top is a big, wooden cross and lots of flourishing grass trees. There is a sparse beauty to it. The view at the top evokes awe.
On my way to the summit, a tree happened to catch my eye. It wasn’t remarkably beautiful but it was remarkable in its own way. It had a big crack right down the centre of it, big enough for me to put my hand into. I stood for a few moments contemplating it. Despite the crack, it was still growing. It was providing shade for the grass trees and other plants living underneath it. Birds were perching in its branches. It was contributing to life. It came to me that we all have cracks in us. Some people have hair line cracks which you can hardly see (but are still there). Some people have huge holes you can poke your head into. But despite the size and quantity of cracks and holes in us, we all still live and contribute to life as best we can. If we are very lucky, we may be able to close some of the gaps. More likely we learn to live with them.
I know that this moment of realisation/contemplation/revelation would not have happened in my normal life.
I come back from Silver Wattle deeper than when I arrived.
That’s why I go to Silver Wattle Quaker Centre.