On my kitchen counter there is a daily calendar. It is not digital, we do not have to plug it in. Each day, by hand, we flip over the day, month, and date. This 24-hour ritual helps us keep track of where we are in the week when everything during these past months begins to blur together into one big COVID-19 season. I took a deep breath as I flipped the date to August 1, 2020.
Since mid- March when the “COVID 19 season” came to the mountain and Kirkridge was forced to close its physical doors, we have moved on line. Thanks to the technical knowledge of Justine and the gift of leadership from many board members and friends of Kirkridge, we have hosted over 75 programs and had over 1,500 participants for our on-line programs. Participants have come from all across North America, Europe and Australia.
COVID has helped up break the physical, geographic and financial barriers to our former on-site programs. We are grateful that with each program we have been able to introduce this place we know of as Kirkridge to the wider world and share our mission to be and to become a people of hope, compassion, justice, and service.
Recently, Abdul-Rehman Malik, a friend of Kirkridge, said, Kirkridge is not just about hospitality, it is a practice. In these past days, we have leaned into the truth of Abdul-Rehman’s words as we have gathered to have deep conversation regarding racism in our country, spend time in courageous circles of support, sit in virtual silence, learn meditation skills, share writing practices and support long standing Kirkridge programs.
What we did not know when we started was how long this COVID 19 walk was going to be. We also did not realize that this new style of programming, while it will never replace gathering around the Farmhouse fireplace or moving on this mountain, is now one more avenue to build community at Kirkridge.
For the month of August, we are going to take a bit of a Sabbath at Kirkridge from programming. For a few weeks you will not find the normal program offerings on-line. We are going to take a deep breath, perhaps have a few days away from our screens and spend a bit of time to refresh our spirits.
While we are slowing down and relishing in the gifts of August, you are welcome to indulge in our recordings of former programs in case you would like to attend a writing workshop, create a mandala, or listen to one of our conversations on social justice in these times. At a bit of a slower pace during this time, we will be preparing to widen our on-line offerings, increase accessibility, and create a beautiful Fall line-up of gatherings.
While we surely miss you physically at Kirkridge, we are truly grateful that we are living in a time where virtual options are possible. It is always a joy to be with you and we look forward to this season of being together knowing that Kirkridge is more than a place, indeed as a community we are learning it is a practice.
In gratitude, Jean Richardson