Moonta Miner’s Cottage.
One mine closed, another opened. Miners were an itinerant community. They usually built temporary homes from whatever was available near the operation of the mine site or between heaps of overburden. This better than average cottage, built in 1870 by John Wood, a brick maker, like most miner’s cottages was probably built in-between shift work. Life revolved around home, work and church. What took place here? How was faith expressed? What does the cottage represent?
Here is a place of belonging, a safe haven away from the danger and hazards of life and the mine, a place to withdraw from the pressing scrutiny of others, the mine boss and expectations of chapel.
Here is a place of healing where broken egos, hearts and blistered hands are tendered with care.
Here is a place of rest and sleep, where feet are raised, muscles relax, energy, strength is renewed and a new focus and resolve steels one for another day.
Here is a place of celebration where new babies arrive, where new shoes are special, where plans for midsummer bon-fires are shared and pasties are made for St Piran’s Day.
Here is a place of hospitality where neighbours call to chat about the family back home, where men light a pipe and yarn, sing a hymn or two after supper or enjoy heavy-cake and tea.
Here is a place of pain and anxiousness when there is no clean water only tears over children dying, sleepless nights over a looming strike, panic with news of an accident down the shaft.
Here is a place of intimacy, only the muffled thump of the Engine house, away from the dust of industrial works, a place to laugh, to cuddle, to tell children stories or watch a game of marbles.
Here is a sacred place where wood is gathered before the Sabbath, where grace is clearly pronounced, a tattered Bible is read by candle light and passionate prayers are prayed.
Prayer: Father God, Jesus reminded us that in your house there are many rooms.
As we learn to journey with you, bring us and those who have gone before into the safe haven of the heavenly home that you have prepared. In Jesus name, AMEN.
E A (Ted) Curnow Kernewek Lowender Prayer Retreat May 2013