- Written by Liz Richardson, Springhouse Board Member and Adult Programming Participant -
Once upon a time there was a girl born on the salty shores of Virginia’s coast, who was taught to follow the straight and narrow path with a set of black and white rules.
Everyday, she was confounded by the paradox in which the rules didn’t seem to apply equitably. This angered and confused her. She asked big questions but was shut down and told to not rock the boat. She wondered, “how can the world be so awe-strikingly beautiful and yet so brutally unfair?”
One day, she left home to attend college. There, she was able to explore diverse corners of the world and herself. This led to an expansion of her perspective and left her seeking solutions to the problems she saw in the world.
Because of that, she found a new home in the Blue Ridge Mountains with people devoted to creating solutions in service to a better world. In the nurturing fold of Springhouse Community School, she learned about the transformative power of community.
Because of Springhouse, she was given a place where she could grapple honestly with the hard questions, navigate the sacred anger, and break open to the tenderness within. Peers and mentors demonstrated that unconditional love, integrity, authenticity, and connection are foundational to creating a healthy culture. She committed to showing up fully in community and practicing these values.
Until finally, she gave herself permission to step off the straight and narrow path. She discovered her love and compassion for the immense beauty and brokenness of the earth and its people. She acknowledged her calling to be part of the healing process and the way forward. Seeing the sacred and profane and accepting it all, she prayed:
With my heart open to feel the pain and joy of the reality in front of me, feeling the rawness of human experience,
With my ears open to the winds of promise and hope for what could be,
With my eyes open to see the beauty and fullness of this life and
With my feet planted on the ground, intimately connected to the earth from which I came and to which I will return.