Periods of transition often inspire us to reflect on that which we leave behind and the new experience ahead.
As we welcome the arrival of the fall season on this day of equal day and night time, I find myself reflecting on that ideal of equality and what it means for our society and the mission of Chautauqua. It conjures memories of our dialogue during the 2017 season on issues of balance, on the nature of fear, on the state of the Supreme Court and so many other inspirational experiences of enlightenment and engagement with the other.
It also shades and challenges our work this fall as we prepare for the 2018 season and all that is to follow. Our administrative team, most having taken brief periods of vacation following the close of the season, are preparing for our annual executive retreat Monday and Tuesday, and our all-staff gathering of gratitude next Wednesday. We ask for your prayers and well wishes as we do this important work, preparing for your return and for expanding Chautauqua’s mission beyond the nine-week summer season and outside the gates of our sacred grounds.
We also ask for your prayers and caring thoughts for our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico and Mexico City, and still in Florida, the Caribbean, Houston and the West as they suffer and recover from natural disasters. May the transition to fall bring them the rescue, relief and hope they need to restore their lives and hearten their faith in the future. The collective prayers, well wishes, sympathy and direct expressions of financial and other forms of support by members of the Chautauqua community during this time are most certainly working magic in the lives of individuals and communities in all areas affected and beyond.
May the autumnal equinox bring your lives and those of all you love the gifts of balance and optimism as we embrace the challenges and opportunities to come.