When Cranaleith first opened our doors as a spiritual center, we had experienced very little rainfall over the Spring and Summer. The pond was nearly dry. The vegetation around the pond was dying, and the surrounding trees were languishing. One of our first visiting groups were women from a Mercy ministry in North Philadelphia who reflected on the pond in the course of their retreat day. They saw it as an image of their own spiritual thirst. They learned that the pond was fed by only one weak stream, flowing through the pond and into the nearby creek. They heard that a spring once fed into the stream, but was crushed by the roadbed when development occurred in the vicinity when there were no environmental laws. They prayed at the meagre stream that the waters would one day flow abundantly from the spring of their life. They blessed the mission of Cranaleith, asking that we be at the service of freeing the blocked connection to the source of our life.
Years later, when we were building the conference center, construction works excitedly discovered the blocked spring bubbling through the ground. They dug deeper, freeing and channeling its waters into the pond. Little by little, the pond filled up and the ecosystem around the pond throbbed with life. The women returned over the years, always rejoicing in the thriving pond. They recognized in it the Merciful Heart of God, broken with love in the heart of our world, flowing into the broken places in each of us and in our society. They saw it healing life and restoring hope, flowing extravagantly binding us to one another in an interconnected and sacred creation.