After three wonderful weeks, we said goodbye to Coyote, our first WWOOF volunteer to arrive on foot. As with every one of our WWOOFers, the farm is better for Coyote's contributions: potatoes started in barrels of soil and seaweed, fruit trees gently pruned, (and the budded branches saved in a vase for forcing), blueberry bushes well-mulched, animals well-fed and tended, fenceline cleared...not to mention some serious sourdough bread-baking, ukulele-strumming, and a couple of epic scrabble games.
Our first year as WWOOF farm hosts has been the best sort of adventure. Yes, there are risks. Perhaps it takes a certain temperament to open one's home to strangers, to gently negotiate shared space, to relinquish a measure of privacy, to build trust...yet the people who have chosen to travel here have truly blessed us. We have welcomed their widely varying stories and experiential wisdom as much as their energy and willingness to work.
On this Easter morning, as the Piper played the sun up and--gathered at the town landing at daybreak--we heard the story of angels at the empty tomb, I looked over at Coyote, face to the water, perhaps pondering leave-taking and the next leg of a personal pilgrimage. The quilted patterns on Coyote's poncho hinted strongly of wings. Why not? If the risen Jesus could be mistaken for a gardener, why couldn't a travelling farmhand come with wings? There are deep reasons why, in many wisdom traditions, angels and strangers are closely intertwined...
So, on this day of resurrections and possibilities, may we all be surrounded by winged strangers and shining gardeners. May we all be open to winds of change and wild gusts of blessing.
A CELTIC RUNE OF HOSPITALITY
We saw a stranger yesterday.
We put food in the eating place,
Drink in the drinking place,
Music in the listening place,
& with the sacred name of the truine God,
[They] blessed us and our house,
Our cattle and our dear ones.
As the lark says in her song:
Often, often, often goes the Christ
In the stranger's guise.