In my last blog I wrote that my roots were flapping in the wind. After a three-week visit in Nelson over the holidays, I now realize that is not altogether true. I have patient, flexible roots in Nelson and in the Kootenays that easily welcome me back into the fold and ground me in a sense of support, community, and home. Furthermore, although I feel my roots more keenly in the Nelson, I am lucky enough to have some sense of rootedness in several places. In some way I find my roots anytime I connect with people (or with myself for that matter) below the surface of things. The more often that happens, the deeper the roots go.
This blog is a long limb that I extend towards my roots, wherever they are, in an effort to experience more community, connection, and support during my travels and in my life. Please consider these blog-update emails as requests to be a part of my community, which I very much hope will include at least the possibility of in-person connection from time to time, regardless of where you live. There is no expectation from me that you read all or any of my blog posts. And, if you’d rather not receive these Blog-Update emails, please let me know. I understand all too much that many of us already spend more time on the computer than we enjoy.
I am currently based on Bainbridge Island, WA where I am part of a team, Restorative Bainbridge, that is supporting the Bainbridge and area community to create restorative systems (RS’s) for conflict. I’m excited about the potential RS’s have for contributing systemically to a more peaceful and connected world, so I’m here to learn and practice as much as I can. I’m grateful to my friend and fellow NVC Trainer Kathleen Macferran for initiating the Restorative Bainbridge project and for inviting me to join it. And I’m grateful to my partner Katherine for also inviting me to join in this project.
There is a lot of interest in RS’s on Bainbridge Island and the surrounding area, including from the Bainbridge Island Chief of Police, from different school principals and staff, and from a Unitarian Universalist congregation. We are currently supporting a kindergarten to grade twelve school to set up its RS. Not surprisingly, the student leaders are taking the lead with setting up an RS system and with learning the Restorative Circle (RC) process. There has already been one live RC at the school, and today we found out that we can start talking about conflict and RS’s in the health classes! Last Sunday and Monday we shared a short presentation of RS’s & RC’s with a Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. At the end of the presentations we asked if anyone was interested in more training. I believe I saw everyone put a hand up. One woman said she was very hesitant about coming to our presentation because the Fellowship’s previous efforts to work through conflict had been so painful. After our presentation, she was hungry for more and wanted to know what the next steps are. To top it all off, the Chief of Police wants to support us in any way he can and wants us to train some of his staff. I’m grateful for and excited about all the opportunities to learn, practice and contribute.
It’s hard to say how long my partner Katherine and I will be here. There is no funding yet for Restorative Bainbridge, so we are relying on community support and on Patrons of Compassion for housing and other resources in order to contribute as much as we can with Restorative Bainbridge. I am fortunate that communities in BC continue to support me by bringing me north to give NVC workshops. Katherine and I had our first RS and RC presentation in BC, in Nelson, BC, over the holidays, and we look forward to bringing more presentations and workshops on RS’s and RC’s to BC and perhaps beyond. I hope to see you somewhere between here and beyond. (If you come across my roots, please give them a little water for me.)
Thank you Clayton for passing along this quote:
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can. I want to be thoroughly used up when I die. For the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no brief candle to me. It’s a sort of splendid torch which I’ve got to hold up for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing on to future generations.” ~ George Bernard Shaw