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The Influence of Rivendell on Whitestone

We are fortunate to have guests from around the world visit us at Whitestone. A recent guest had just returned from Afghanistan where she had served an international aid organization for two years. She is twenty-six years old, very attractive and left the US yesterday for another two year term in that war-torn country, I asked about the danger and she said ” It is dangerous but I get used to it”.

Here is the note she left for me when she checked out:

“As I prepare to leave Whitestone again, I can’t help but think about what this place has become to me. Refuge. Safe Haven. Sanctuary. A Stone of Help. All these things, yes, but somehow more. It’s funny, but the image that actually come to mind is Rivendell from Lord of the Rings. Sam & Frodo flee there along their journey for safety, healing, encouragement. It sustains them and strengthens them for the long road ahead that they must face. It’s not a place they can hang onto or stay – but it gives them what they need to carry on in the task they were made for. It gives them a chance to catch their breath before they step out again.

I will step back to Afghanistan again next week and as much as a part of my heart would rather never leave Whitestone, I know I wasn’t meant to stay longer, but you have provided a space for me to heal, breathe, just be. And to be reminded that at the “end” of the road, I will be allowed to “linger” in the Beauty.

I heard someone say once that we’re good at sending out our sheep to live among wolves, but not good at all at receiving them back; healing the wounds, and nurturing them to return.
You have done this with grace, beauty and amazing natural quality. Thank you for making “Rivendell” for me”.

Rivendell was a strong image when I built the drive-thru barn as an entrance-gate to safety. Without me telling her That I wanted Whitestone to be the place of preparation for the journey “ann” nailed it.