The plan was to spend 2.5 days in Cincinnati volunteering with the Freestore/Foodbank and Gabriel's Place, socializing and sleeping in the evening at the Edge House, then trek to the Good Earth Farm in Athens for the remainder. The plan worked and became so much more.
Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights, our small band was joined by 3-5 other students who weren't able to work with us during the day but who were still in town. We cooked together, painted together, and played board games together (oh, the boardgames we played...). But knowing those activities doesn't tell even half the story. In the crucible of spending 24/7 together, our conversations over paint and coffee turned towards discernment, vocation, difficult friendships, and the presence/absence of God. We laughed about the absurd and hugged about the heartbreaking. The paintings we worked on are imbued with our prayerful conversation.
Wednesday morning a handful of us left Cincinnati for the farm, bringing the others with us in spirit and still others via text. Pulling into the driveway of Good Earth, we released breaths we didn't know we were holding and dove into intentional community life. We processed honey from the comb, helped with feeding and milking, planted seeds, baked pies, filled earth bags for the chapel, and mucked out the pig stall. We talked more of discernment, of simplicity, of our struggles with addiction and sin.
Saturday, we worked more on the chapel with our friends from the Floral House. The day ended with lunch and Eucharist under the trees. Our connection to one another has never been stronger and it is the Holy Spirit who gave us this unexpected and, yes, epic week.