I am Wayne Cumberlander, the Maintenance Manager for Genesis Spiritual Life and Conference Center. As I make my way around the property, I ponder God’s creation triggered by the beauty of the property. I am thankful to be able to enjoy its beauty and at the same time I can still call it work. I have a regimen of tasks to do and I enjoy most of them but not all. The effort level required is dependent on the changes that come because of some needed repair, addition or the seasons. That’s part of living in New England.
The fall and winter bring about a unique set of trials. The leaves falling endlessly, the temperature dropping, and snow falling makes things more challenging. When things start to get hectic or overwhelming, I remind myself that all these situations are short lived, and some are by design. The leaves falling re-nourish Mother Earth as well as the many living organisms that live in it. The changing of the seasons allows Mother Earth to rest and re-grow, a cycle developed by our Creator for our benefit. I feel that I only add a little to it in a way that we may see as better, but things in their natural way have a special beauty about them even though we may not be able to always see it.
Although I try to keep the different systems working here at Genesis, and do fairly well at it, there are no better or larger systems than God’s creation. I see this creation as being designed to run forever and ever. We have nothing that is that good. We really add nothing but we do rearrange and modify that which we might call an improvement.
Spring is my favorite season in that I enjoy watching new growth spring up and start anew. Hurry up spring and come around again! Spring allows me to contribute a little to the beauty of the property, and partner with God in His providence over His creation. I do feel that the world has God’s hand of providence over all things, and that it is perfect. I do sometime wonder why there are mosquitoes, wasps, bees, snakes, weeds, falling leaves etc. Those things don’t always seem helpful, desirable, or even needed. I am reminded by Genesis’s mission that there is a need for all things so I should look for them, bless them and be blessed by them. So when I prune, or plant things, I do so from my view point and mankind’s view of beauty in things. I do feel that man’s view can be in line with God’s providence.
I see new life and old life at Genesis. Some of the creatures that I have seen roam the property besides humans are birds of all types, chipmunks, cats, ducks, dogs, foxes, hawks, mice, rabbits, garter snakes, wood chucks, skunks, deer, a bear or two, squirrels (gray, black, and brown)--and the list keeps growing. We are becoming overwhelmed with squirrels to the point that they are falling out of trees. I almost got hit on the head by an unfortunate squirrel that was jumping from limb to limb up high and missed his next limb and came crashing down with a thump just missing my head by a few inches. He rolled over, dusted himself off, and ran away.
Genesis has had many trials this year dealing with the COVID–19 virus, as well as being short of staff, and other things. But we have been able to still provide a service to the community at lower numbers. We have taken many steps to protect our guests through screening, sanitizing, additional cleaning, social distancing, and minimizing the need to touch surfaces to name a few. It brings a joy to my spirit to witness and be a small part of bringing relaxation, comfort, and enjoyment to the many visitors that we have here at Genesis. That includes the local communities that walk their dogs or just themselves around the property. It is a little oasis in the city of Westfield that all are welcome to enjoy. In fact the many services provided make Genesis a good place to visit to help deal with the COVID-19 virus’s stress and anxiety!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Wayne Cumberlander, Maintenance Manager
Sometimes, a calling begins with inner restlessness. A disquiet or tension, perhaps even an irritation. In the ups and downs of the day-to-day, it is easy to chalk these up to the ordinary trials and tribulations of daily life. Certainly, growing in maturity requires cultivating the ability to hold fast during turbulent times, not jumping ship at every inconvenience or upset.
Posted on 9/23/2021
A while ago, Genesis received the gift of a canvas labyrinth along with a number of boxes of accessories, some easels and posters. Due to its size, the labyrinth will only fit in the Providence Room and time passed as we waited for the room to be available so we could unfold the labyrinth and walk it. In the meanwhile, Nick and Wayne stored the labyrinth, boxes and posters upstairs in a Carriage House closet. Weeks passed, then months. Years.
Posted on 8/10/2021
These past weeks I’ve had occasion to cover Genesis’ kitchen so our beloved Chef Jen could have a couple of days off. I delighted in harvesting tart cherries from the tree behind the Carriage House and incorporating them into Rainbow Chard, bacon and cherry pizzas, Chilled Persian Soup, and cooking them down for a sauce over vanilla ice cream.
Posted on 7/14/2021
Posted on 2021-06-10
Reflecting on the spirituality of Providence
Posted on 5/7/2021
Posted on 5/18/2021
We had a lovely full house of 28 gathered to celebrate Genesis’ contemplative Easter Triduum Retreat...Read on
Posted on 2021-04-06