Today’s Word from Deacon Amy…

The windstorm that struck our beautiful island early this week was incredible! I’m sure this is one that future generations will grow tired of hearing about. We’ll all have remarkable stories about the weather that we’ve experienced this week.

We have just such a story to share from our little farm: My daughters both arrived home early from school and we were all sitting in the living room when we heard the unmistakable crack and boom of a tree coming down. We donned our boots and jackets and headed outside to investigate.

It didn’t take us long to spot the beautiful madrona tree that had crashed to the ground. Its sprawling branches, once waving cheerfully in the sky, now spread across our lower goat field. The mighty roots that had kept this magnificent tree solidly grounded for many decades were pulled from the earth, lying in a tangled heap in the pig pen.

The branches in the goat field – the roots in the pig pen – the trunk on the fence in between. Oh, no. As we examined the damage, we could hear several other branches and trees cracking and falling all around us. Seeing that the gap between the fields was fairly well covered with debris, we decided to play it safe by quickly feeding and securing all of the animals, and heading back inside ourselves.

The next day, a wonderful friend offered to help with the project. We headed down to survey the damage. That’s when I realized that, perhaps, I needed to change my attitude about this disaster. You see, when we turned the corner behind the barn, ready to see the gnarly mass of destruction that was the roots of the madrona, I spotted our pigs, all cuddled safe and snug at the base of the root mass. They were enjoying an afternoon nap in the sunshine, with the roots of the tree acting as a lovely backstop. They had taken this devastating catastrophe and turned it into something lovely. They were not appalled at the damage or destruction – they were pleased with their new resting place.

We all paused to smile at the happy pigs, then headed into the goat field to begin our work. My friend had brought his trusty chainsaw with him and made quick work of removing the rather large obstacle from our fence. He sliced off branches and divided the trunk into sections. In no time at all, the fence was clear!

My daughters and I patched the fence and repaired the wire. All the while, the pigs and goats happily explored the pile of branches and twigs, munching on leaves as they went. They were all quite pleased with the turn of events – they have entertainment and snacks for days!

So, once again, my animals have reminded me to focus on the good things in life. They have reminded me of the old adage about making lemons into lemonade – only this time they made resting places, adventures, games, and tasty treats out of a fallen madrona. They found the sunshine when I was still stuck in the storm.

Keep looking for the good things, friends. The sun is shining somewhere.

Oh – and a big thank you to my friend, Karl, for helping us get the tree off of the fence!

Deacon Amy