From The Innkeepers

February 2023

February 2023 Blog
Celebrating What We Love

On any given day it may seem that the world borders on being overwhelmingly depressing. When this dark cloud comes over me it seems that I have taken in too many news stories ranging from police violence, to the ineffectiveness and divisiveness of our government, to the people of Ukraine being killed and their homeland being destroyed for no other reason than greed and the amassing of power.   I could go on about topics ranging from climate change naysayers, to families facing greater challenges of food insecurity especially in this inflationary environment, to the demeaning of LBGTQ people.  These happenings are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  I wonder if generations from now that saying will go away as people will have no frame of reference for icebergs because they are melting due to global warming. Alas, I digress.  Let’s move on.

Our lives can easily get clouded over by everything happening around us.  But the purpose of my blog this month is not to dwell on the darkness through which we must find our way, but rather on how we can dispel what could otherwise seem like the hopeless enterprise of how humans live on this planet.  So, the second half of this month’s writing will be about experiences of some of the many things there are to love about this world. 

One of the things that unfailingly removes me from a downward funk is to visit in person or to read the periodic newsletter of an organization called CARES in Farmington Hills, MI.  It is a place we have supported because truly their name is who they are and what they do.  Whenever we have had the privilege to attend an event or to meet with the director Todd Lipa or his assistant Kitty Ostach, my spirit is immediately buoyed up by the countless telling of all the good people have done that makes it possible for their organization to reach out and fulfill the needs of the many people that come there for help.  Todd has this marvelous ability to put people with the means and the skills to be of service in touch with those who have needs and who would otherwise continue to struggle.  Many a life has been transformed by his intuitive goodness.  Caring and how they do it at CARES is certainly one thing to love about the world.  I am sure that if you looked around in your respective communities you could find people that are similarly engaged that would steer your hearts toward love.

This week we had the experience of dining at a relatively recently opened restaurant called the Noodle Pig in Grand Rapids, MI.   I loved the vibe of this place.  It was immediately palpable that food preparation was about more than profitability.  Every meal there serves 4 people: yourself, a child in west Michigan, a child nationally, and a child internationally.  These young people had the vision to start a business for the greater good, not just for themselves to earn a living.  The surroundings are simple.  The operation is the simpler “faster casual” model which eliminates some of the overhead expenses.  There is an awareness of how their business impacts the planet, so everything down to the cups, ramen bowls, and service ware, is compostable.  Patrons are taught how to properly dispose of these things in the appropriate bin when a meal is done.  If you want to read about them check out their website.  Better yet if you are in the area in downtown Grand Rapids visit them for one of the best bowls of ramen you will ever have this side of Japan.  It will feed your body and your soul to know that some young people of this so-called Generation S, give us a lot to love and be hopeful about the future of our world.

The other things I love about the world can be summed up by just looking around me and my environment here at the Inn.  It is overwhelmingly beautiful.  On any given day we are blessed with a myriad of experiences that can tilt me to fall in love with life again and again.  From sunrises, to the wildlife that shares the land here, to sunsets, rainbows, meteor showers in night skies not ruined by light pollution, to the cathedral of pines that has sent many of my prayers heavenward, and to the seasonal unfolding that repeats itself each year once spring weather yields the first blossoms.  I love where life has planted me, and the privilege it has given me to get to know so many people who love to come here and share in the experience of life in this natural sanctuary.

This month I would like to encourage you to also look at your life and ask what makes you fall in love with the world on a daily basis.  Who are the people that make your heart sing?  Where are the places that open you to love the world and your life in it?  What are the activities that fully engage the possibilities of all that you are, so that you love what you do and how you contribute to the goodness of this world?

May love continue to be the central calling of our lives.

May love be with you on our journey.

Marcia, Pat, and Sharon

Keepers of the Rustic Gate