Sarah Ruth van Gelder, YES! magazine
Friday, 2 Jul 1999
I’ve just arrived at the writers’ retreat center where I’ll be spending the next couple of weeks — mostly in solitude. I’m in what is called The Tower, a single room on the second floor of the house with a bed, a desk for writing, a chair looking out over the valley. It is a beautiful room full of peace — the perfect setting for getting some real work done. Two other women are staying here during the same time, but I plan to be alone most of the time. Solitude — time to think, to walk, to let my mind clear of the daily realities of phone calls, emails, meetings, and deadlines — is something I’ve been craving for a long time. Now I have it and I am like a kid in a candy store. I can’t decide whether to sit out on the balcony with a pen and paper or take a long walk. I guess I’ll do both.
My talk at the Friday lunch went well. The room was packed with people who are all doing wonderful work in business, cohousing, sustainability, consulting, community building, and so on. As always, the opportunity for people to connect with each other was as valuable as any information or ideas I might have provided. I do think that there is far more potential energy for strengthening the environment, for community, for a more compassionate world than is evident in most media. People are looking for next steps, hope, things that work. They are out there. The status quo is far from monolithic or secure. In fact, in a time with as much fluidity as now, things could change very fast. Each of us can contribute to furthering that change — the opportunities range from being genuinely respectful of each person we encounter to providing leadership in any organization or community we are part of. If you are reading this, you are a needed part of the solution.
The sun has set leaving a bit of light at the horizon. The moon is just rising. I pray that I can keep this peace with me and make it part of everything I do, and that the coming two weeks will be a time for deepening and strengthening my contribution. Good night.