Grad Profiles: Rev. Angie Arndt '07

 
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Spirit is everywhere!

On Valentine’s Day 2017 my husband was suddenly let go from his job and the world shifted. We tried to see it as the crisis that was to become an opportunity but it wasn’t easy.

On June 29th I left my job at ChIME as planned back in January with very mixed feelings. Trying to stay open to new possibilities.

On July 1st my husband’s youngest brother was killed by a drunk driver in Jackson Hole, WY, and the world turned upside down.

We spent the summer and early fall grieving, helping his 86 year old mother and attending a Celebration of Life service that will forever stay in our hearts.

Late fall we decided that we would rent our house and the Universe opened for us the opportunity to live on a friend’s boat in the Caribbean for 7 weeks and then head to St. Croix to stay with another friend. We wanted to be of service to hurricane damaged islands and “give back.”

It has been an opportunity to reflect on how Spirit shows up.

Living on a 42’ boat, Spirit is evident in the wind, the waves, the sunrises and sun sets. The natural elements are key to living on the water and one learns quickly to respect her power and her gifts.

Spirit shows when being woken at 3:00 in the morning by unfamiliar noises on deck caused by extreme gusts of wind and seeing, in all her glory, the Southern Cross. A constellation only visible in the southern sky.

Spirit is in the eyes of the shy ten year old girl who when asked about her experience of hurricane Maria replied: “ I can’t talk about the hurricane because I wasn’t traumatized like my friend who’s roof was blown off. She has anxiety and PTSD, I am fine”.

Spirit shows in the face of the Librarian who shared that she thought the storm was winding down when suddenly “the noise grew to deafening sound and everything started flying”.

Spirit is in the determination of every one who said we WILL rebuild and Dominica WILL be beautiful again. Dominica STRONG.

Spirit guides us to meet amazing people who are doing incredible work… Harriet Lansky, Founder of Hands Across the Sea, a literacy program for the islands; Mr. Teddy Wallace, Principal of Roosevelt Primary School who told of surviving not one but TWO hurricanes as he traveled to St. Martin before Irma struck; (where we painted the entryway with other cruising families and local kids who were eager to help.); and the boat boys who greet sail boats as they come in and assure them they WILL be cared for.

Spirit finds clever ways to remind me that I am never alone…when walking the beach feeling challenged, because wherever we go life goes with us, I look up to see a dinghy named: “bless up” and as I contribute to stroll chuckling to myself I see: “wisdom and patience” on the side of another small boat. (see photo).

And when I am challenged, scared or at my wits end due to extreme winds, Spirit is there to remind me to breath, let go and trust. The present moment is always the best place to return and She is always there to greet me.

Blessings abound!