Most classes follow a pretty typical rhythm for the first day. The teacher offers a quick word of welcome, runs through the class roster, reviews the course syllabus, and, if the educator is feeling ambitious, will dive into the course material.
Because of this standardization, I found myself struck and intrigued when a recent professor's word of welcome was not brief. Rather, he began by exploring what it means for him to welcome us into that space. He talked about the origin of the word 'welcome,' and how it breaks down into words meaning "come" and "well."
Therefore, to wish someone 'welcome' is an abbreviated way of wishing that someone comes well into a space.
We at Peacehaven also want to wish that you come well to our newly created blog– Farm Tales.
This blog is an effort to share tangibly how Peacehaven's values of community, relationships, and growth are experienced in practice. Here you can learn about what it looks like for us to be in community, to build relationships, and for us to grow together. Along the way, you might find fun stories, thoughtful reflections, quirky pictures, informative updates, snazzy short films, samples of creative writing, and everything in between.
We'll begin with a story.
It was a Tuesday. Special Olympics Bowling Test Day. Bowling outings happen on occasion at Peacehaven, so we were ready to go. Our Core Members packed their A-game, and we were eager to hit the lanes. However, when we arrived, we were told that we were not able to use bumpers in qualifying for Special Olympics.
Panic. Anxiety. Confusion. Doubt. "This is going to be tough." "I don't think I can do this." "I need help." For our Core Members, the news of not being able to use bumpers–this break from their routine–provoked some challenging emotions.
After quite a few gutter balls, a couple of expressions of frustration, and multiple attempts at encouragement, we made it through the test day.
The following week, we were mostly ready for the real deal. We knew about the bumpers ahead of time, so that was less anxiety-producing. Our Core Members bowled, and sure, some balls went straight into the gutter, and yes, that was frustrating.
But we also got to see the joy and excitement of Anne after she bowled a strike, offering hugs and high fives to everyone. We saw Jake raise his arms in celebration after a good bowl. Molly gave out celebratory fist bumps, and Jeff flashed his signature smile. It was a challenge, but our Core Members rose to the occasion, and we had fun along the way.
We are grateful to share this space with you. And, of course, welcome.
Adam Barnes, Susan's View Home Life Leader
(Photo credit: Abigail Hedgecock)