Friday, January 27, 2012

Vilhemina

Just before we hopped the planes back to Gothenburg, we stopped for lunch in the tiny town of Vilhemina. This is the town closest to Heligfjall and where Per heads up the school.



Eva and Per have been renting an apartment there before the move to Heligfjall (which happened just weeks before we arrived). The apartment looks over the lake and I marveled at Eva's very healthy looking orchids seemingly impervious to the extreme cold in the visa behind them.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Heligfjall.

Our days at Helgfjall are spent exploring the property which has its very own bakery, sauna, barn, cellar, lakehouse and cabins apart from the main house where Eva and Per stay and the 100 year old cottage that AJ & I sleep in. 








We spend hours discussing this idea of 'Learning Centre' and gradually without us realising it, it seems that the Centre shifts from an idea to a living thing. 

Per, AJ & Rita - the bakery in the background
By the stream

Per, AJ & Anna dig to the cellar





We gather with the others to make a meal and talk for hours about what it means to live our lives in testament to the Truths we already know, and how we may teach though living example.


Late one afternoon (just before dusk at 3pm) AJ & I don snow shoes and walk out into the woods where huge birch trees reach up tall to the sky while heavy snow tugs their branches earthward.

into the woods...

We still ourselves and let the silence envelop us. Eva & Per call this place a 'church' and I feel their meaning.

There are already many messages for me this trip but so far the reoccurring tug on my soul is about how seldom I make space in my life to deeply long for God, to let Him Love me. In the quiet, pre-dawn hours where jet-lag finds me alert and alone I quake at the potential of this connection with Him. I am surprised to find how much I still fear His Love. And here again in the snow subdued woods, at the place named 'holy', I know again that God is always there - between the moments, in the space, His presence, His Love, like the hulking calm and peace that immediately surrounds us in the snow subdued woods.... He waits - a quiet immense presence ready to envelop us in Love the moment we invite Him into our hearts. 


Mine these days is a trembling heart, awake to possibility, enlivened by the passion in those we meet, awed by the Infinite Care I feel guiding my life. It is a heart that feels so humbled by the Love that I must breathe deeply here in the forest. I must breathe to stay present and not run and hide like the small, unworthy child  I believe myself to be.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Brave.

The bears are sleeping at Vilhemina, hunkered down, preparing to raise cubs in the spring.

We arrive at night by propeller plane.

It is snowing as we cross the tarmac and I am grateful for the jacked loaned to me by one of our welcoming committee in Gothenburg this morning. We have travelled all day; on three separate flights, joined by friends along the way.

Anna & Anna join us in Gothenburg

Joy & Rita join us for the final flight from Stokholm to Vilhemina

on the tarmac


Eva meets us and bundles us into a warm, waiting car to cover the distance remaining to her and her husband, Per’s, new home. 





We wind our way along a road lined with birch and fur trees, their branches bravely holding up under the 40cm of snow that has fallen in the past week. Ice and softly falling snowflakes reflect the light from the headlights as Eva drives us north. 

Already I know that we have landed in a wonderful place, so strange, striking and crazy beautiful. 

It takes us 40 minutes to drive to ‘Heligfjall’, which means holy mountain in the language of the indigenous Sami people. A people who believe, that no land is ever owned except by God.


Heligfjall lies in south Lapland, just a few hundred kilometres shy of the arctic circle. It is the place that our friends, Eva and Per, have chosen to make their new home and to create a place of learning and growth they hope it will become a Gods Way of Love Learning Centre.

We turn into an arching driveway that just last week bore the prints of a passing lynx, and the small 2WD car fails at this final leg. So we walk to the house in the snow, dry, white and thick below our boots, and still falling gently upon our heads and faces. Per greets us with a warm hug and we pass into the kitchen complete with combustion stove and candles burning.

We have been up since 4 am and by now are bone tired but still we sit in the cosy kitchen for hours more, till past midnight, listening to the story of this couple and their adventures and turmoils of the past few months.

Per has spent his life a company man, a successful engineer working for a large car company. He has been accustomed to working amongst men and machines, to variables, which are concrete, controllable and fixable.

He tells us of a decision he made to finally remove the armour around his heart and soul, and to and heal emotionally. Within a few short months, this man with a Masters degree in Science but no experience in classrooms, now finds himself the Principle of a local high school. In this tiny outpost of community, where the local industries are fishing and hunting and teen pregnancy, unemployment and alcohol abuse are common, Per has challenged himself to become a leader and a creator of new possibilities for the youth that frequent his new office. His days are now filled with different, less controllable variables and he will freely admit that the armour is challenged and falling away. 

As Per tells his story I can feel what a gift this tiny school has been given. These people, this community has engaged his heart. What better gift to offer youth but a leader who is humble? A person who listens not just to the nuts and bolts of their stories but one who feels the nuance and hardship and wants to work with them to find new solutions. 

And we all reflect on the perfection of Gods Laws that always bring us exactly what we need in order to heal and serve well. The gifts are ever present and if we only trust in a Wisdom far greater than our own, not only do we receive but so often the opportunity to give our own gifts is created. 

My heart nearly bursts at the beauty and power of God to alter our souls towards joy if only that we follow our hearts in humility and a desire to love. But such journeys commence with sensations that feel like risk, and loss, and it is too easy to panic and clamour to know what next strange thing may lie just over the horizon. Courage is needed to take our first steps outside of what is comfortable and familiar, and I believe we will be called upon again and again to dig deep, and breathe hard and have faith. We may quake in our boots many times if we are to stay the course.

We finish our tea and smile at our friends. These people are brave - and it inspires me. 
  
Eva and Per will tell you such things are not comfortable or easy. But their growth is evident and adventure hangs like an excited newcomer in the air at Heligfjall.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

Trees. Sunshine. Us.

There have been some peaceful moments this last month.

We’ve spent many hours together alone – talking, crying, planting trees, tending gardens and growing a new thing called ‘us’.



Summer breathes golden all around. The days are long and hot.

Butterflies make daisy chain flights from wildflower to flower.

Lazy monitor lizards bask in midday sun and crickets and tree frogs chorus us as night drains the heat of day into cool breezes.

I touch the trunk of the old mama mulberry tree who has seen more seasons on this place than us and I finally breathe in deep.




I breathe in life, I breathe in choice and opportunity.

I exhale more at peace with a life so unexpected, unusual and rich. I am content.

There is still so much unknown in this chrysalis life, so many corners of this soul still uncharted. I feel it is only now that my journey is beginning. A choice to live God’s Way and not my own.

I am so, so grateful for all that I am Given.

Tomorrow we leave on a six week adventure to share Divine Truth in Sweden, Greece, England and Texas.

I’m often challenged to just stay breathing when we travel. In the past I have been quick to run and hide behind my fa├žade.

So my prayer as we pack is to receive this trip as the gift that it is - an amazing opportunity for me to walk the Way, to be humble to every experience, especially those that may push up against my demands for control, for justice or for space.

I'm doing my best to pack this suitcase full, not just with winter woolies, but humility as well.

I’d love to bring you along on this trip. I hope to be able to share some of the moments in each place with you here.

And to those who we plan to see that I have only met online before - how exciting! I can't wait to meet you!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Fear Is Not Our Ruler!

Wow! AJ & I just arrived home after a full day of absolutely awesome auditions for our first God's Way of Love concert to be held tomorrow.





I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge all of you who auditioned. It was so amazing sitting in that hot, dusty and very ordinary hall, feeling the buzz build throughout the day and watching something extraordinary unfold. Thank-you for following and sharing your passions. You inspire me.

I loved the little rush of 'invincibility' I observed in many of you realizing that you were bigger than your fears.

It reminded me of an important Truth, that positive possibility can only grow and creativity is free to come out and stretch her legs whenever fear ceases to rule our lives. 




As AJ said tonight "Today was a good day. Its always a good day when people challenge their fears"

You are all so brave and so talented to boot. Look out world!






















For anyone interested in attending:

Gods Way of Love Concert - Sunday 8th January 2 -4 pm at the Murgon hall - open to all.


Free admission with a free supper provided by the Hospitality Team to follow.




Friday, January 6, 2012

In Order To Be Truthful


A poem by
Michael Leunig


In order to be truthful


We must do more than speak the truth


We must also hear the truth


We must also receive the truth


We must also act upon truth


The difficult truth


Within us and around us


We must also devote ourselves to truth


Otherwise we are dishonest


And our lives are mistaken


God grant us the strength and courage


To be truthful



Amen