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November 2021 Letter from the Director

Published November, 1 2021

strawberries

While working in my garden this weekend, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between my path to this position and the fruit’s to my basket. Some things have an expected harvest time: carrots, 75 days; strawberries, 90; peas, 100; unless the neighborhood chickens eat the seeds. Other things take much longer to crack open and sprout. Even longer to grow to full maturity.

About nine years ago I met Carrie Mowery at a community needs planning session and I immediately knew I needed her in my life. For those of you who know her, you know why. For those that don’t, she’s one of the loveliest humans. So I started courting her. Early in our friendship we met for lunch at Forage. I gushed about all these big dreams I had for mental wellness in the valley. She smiled, and nodded, and encouraged me, and never once thought what I was saying was ridiculous or impossible. She just said, “Yes!” And, “One day.” That was eight years ago.

Since then, we became friends, changed jobs (several times), I got married and had a kid, she went to graduate school, we both experienced profound losses. In short, we lived our lives. Without much direct attention to anything mentioned at lunch that day.

All the while that vision had taken root and was silently growing.

When she approached me about becoming Director because she was ready to step back after a year of hard work getting the organization in order, she reminded me about all those things I envisioned eight years ago. She literally told me she was, “handing me everything I ever wanted.” While saying yes meant I had to uproot some dear to me things to make room for this new opportunity, I also knew she was right. This had been eight years in the making. And all the things that had happened between that lunch and now, were to prepare me for this. So I could tend and grow this most precious thing.

I’m very excited about this next phase and forever grateful for all the teachers and leaders whose shoulders I stand on. For all the friends, and family, and clients, and counselors who’ve helped me rip out weeds and tend my own soil so I could be ready. Especially Carrie, whose work is the sole reason I’m even able to have this position. It just goes to show that you never know what’s going to take hold. What might suddenly spring up after years of incubating just below the surface. 

Mostly, I’m grateful for this community, who I, now, graciously serve. I can’t wait to see what we grow together. What’s waiting just below the surface for us to uncover. 

I hope it’s just as delicious as the handful of strawberries I harvested a few days ago.