Welcome to Fern Creek
Much happens here. For our part, Mark and I tend orchards, vegetable patches, a flock of hens, and a few Nigerian Dwarf goats. Fern Creek takes care of the rest--tending a lot of other life, and all of it precious, sacred. As a Quaker I see my job as loving creation, holding hope, nurturing, laughing, praying, and in all of it, being attentively grateful.
Most who come to Fern Creek these days come for renewal through spiritual direction and personal retreats. Others find unexpected renewal in the berry fields when they come to pick strawberries, thornless blackberries or blueberries. Others come (and generally find renewal) by staying as Airbnb and Vrbo guests in our guest apartment.
Life at Fern Creek is blessed and integrated. It’s not always easy and not nearly as idyllic as it sometimes sounds, but it overflows with goodness. Multiple pieces get reflected here. The strand that weaves them together is the blog, Maples and Mud, where I explore my experience of God’s loving presence in the world, whose grace keeps the universe from coming apart.
spiritual direction and retreats
If you are drawn to a spacious, contemplative path, maybe one grounded in the earthiness of God's presence in all things, you'll likely feel at home at Fern Creek. The direction offered here flows from a belief that the universe is an outpouring of God's love and we are capable of experiencing and expressing that love.
As a spiritual companion I walk alongside you as we explore the spiritual undercurrents of your ordinary life. I listen for the question that wants to be asked, seeking to discern with you the movement of God in joy-filled, challenging, and painful places. God is the ultimate Director in our conversations, inviting us into contemplation and awareness, which eventually draws us toward response as we begin to see and love ourselves, others, and the world as God does.
I am honored to listen deeply to people’s storied lives whether they have walked long in their faith, are disillusioned with faith or are exploring their spiritual selves without context to a specific faith tradition.
I meet with directees in our treehouse prayer cabin above our goat barn, although I can also meet via Zoom if we discern meeting in such a way would be beneficial. My certification comes through Portland Seminary and I am nearing completion of my studies in Richard Rohr's Living School for Action and Contemplation.
You Also Make Goat Milk Soap?
So... part of this integrated lovely life involves Nigerian Dwarf goats, who remind me daily of God's diverse creativity. I'm learning about goatness, and am better for making my acquaintance with this gentle peculiar species.
That means, yes, one by-product of sharing life with goats is goat milk soap, which is creamier than soaps made with water, and lathers with a silky lather high in butterfat, natural oils and acids that contribute an extra layer of skin-renewing goodness.
Our Fern Creek commitment to organic and fair-trade practices means our primary oils and fats (olive, coconut, almond, hemp, apricot, sunflower, castor, shea butter & cocoa butter) come from fair trade and organic sources. I am committed to continued learning regarding which
oils and butters, clays and
colorants are environmentally
friendly and how to source
them from socially and
Soaps are available locally in
the Fern Creek Market, as well as on-line.
Creaky Knees Arthritic Pain Salve
Goat babies have arrived at Fern Creek!
Clara and Sophie (two ADGA--American Dairy Goat Association--registered does) add conversation (Sophie is particularly verbal) and frolicking in the forested fields. They love attention, apple slices, carrots, and sunshine. Their milk, while a wonderful gift, is secondary to what they bring in their goat-ness.