I am an Episcopal nun, living at the Melrose Convent of the Community of the Holy Spirit. Our major work here is Bluestone Farm and Living Arts Center, which is an experience of learning and sharing what it might mean to live sustainably, justly and spiritually fulfilled in a very uncertain future.
My particular work is that of food preservation. In the years since 2003, when I moved here from our New York City convent with Sr. Helena Marie to explore the possibilities of establishing an Earth literacy center, we have listened carefully to the Earth, to each other and to God (with a lot of prompting from that wild and woolly Holy Spirit) to discover what is being asked of us as Episcopal religious and as women entering the twenty-first century — and leaving the Cenozoic Era. We have discovered that the issues surrounding food — its quality, spirituality and security — is our passion and particular call toward helping to create a healthy, safe, and continuing future.
We started a garden, which has grown to many gardens, and we attended conferences, read books and above all experimented to see what works on this particular land. My own efforts have centered on the many ways that food can be safely preserved to maintain its natural goodness and nourishment. I also discovered that food preservation is a real hoot.
During our winter “dreamtime” I delve into my passion for some of the re-skilling work that is arising in many places, and in particular in the hand crafts of knitting (which I’ve done since I was a child, on and off anyway), sewing and weaving. One of these days I’d like to check out basketry, too. Can’t have enough of those old-time talents!