Kurt and Kara

left-right: Kara Black, Kurt Yandell

Kurt and Kara

Bellingham, WA

I've been working at home since ending my classroom teaching career some years back. My wife and I own adjacent properties and rented parts out as a Bed and Breakfast (the Tree Frog Night Inn), a retreat center( the Cedar Tree House) and individual apartments/suites. We also have a charitable foundation, the Ciel Foundation, that provides education and food donations as a service to the community. I am basically the facilities maintenance person as well as the sole gardener for our (nearly 1 acre) Skywood Food Forest.

Though we are at home even more these days, much has remained consistent through time. I'm out and about on our 9 acres, maintaining buildings and gardens, and Kara is keeping her eyes on promoting justice for people and the environment as well as tending to the requirements of sharing the land with multiple others. Evenings often find us communicating with far-flung friends and family, but I think we are both missing our social encounters with nearby friends, though we have figured out some ways to have some covid-safe ineractions. I am certainly missing my various musical pursuits and don't quite have the motivation to practice that I once had; my band has been out of action for over two months now. However, we both feel so lucky to be where we are, able to wander through beautiful grounds while sharing it with others that we care about who also live here.

Looking ahead, I see a long path towards an unpredictable future. As has been said before, crisis includes both danger and opportunity. We, in this world at this moment, have an opportunity to evaluate our place on this planet. We have hard choices to make. I am approaching elder status, but the future of humanity is up in the air and I understand that many, younger than I, are looking ahead with a sense of dread and loss. I am hopeful that this pandemic will be the forge within which we fashion a more thoughtful, inclusive, and compassionate society, less concerned with monetary riches, power, and status than with the rewards inherent in viewing our existence on our planet as just one part of an interconnected whole of which we are merely stewards.

-- Kurt Yandell

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