A new year message from Lisanne, our executive director
Happy New Year!
As I begin this new year, I’m bringing with me a range of feelings. From optimism and hopefulness for this year ahead to uncertainty and lingering pandemic fatigue. I know many of you share this range of feelings heading into 2023. Each of us is holding the individual and collective trauma of what we have been through these past 3 years, and the uncertainty of what we are still going through. Even as we gather again with family, friends, and familiar people we haven’t seen for a while, and we do familiar things we haven’t done for a while, we are changed. People and institutions (including Gould Farm) are changed.
And every new year holds many new beginnings! I've been thinking a lot about beginnings as I begin my 10th year at Gould Farm. With each new face that arrives at Gould Farm, it is a new beginning, a new person to get to know. Someone whose energy, strengths, and gifts contribute to and sometimes challenge the “community” of connection we share. New people bring perspectives that ignite our own passions as well as push us to reexamine ideas and proclivities we hold dear. Beginnings can be energizing. They can also cause uncertainty and anxiety, and knock us off balance. And some beginnings are traumatizing, like the beginning of the pandemic 3 years ago.
As I enter this new year, I am carrying all of it with me: the hopes, the hurts, the desires, and the disappointments as well as renewed energy and residual exhaustion. And in the spirit of Marcel Proust who said “...the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes”, I embrace all of what comes next with an open heart.
So, cheers to a new year! New year, new beginnings. I look forward to this coming year with our staff and board, our long-time colleagues and new friends, and our current program participants and new arrivals. New arrivals who inspire us with their courage and whose struggles we hold with utmost gravity and grace. It is a privilege to be on this journey with all of you.