Notes from Windward: #64

Windward's Chairs - An Introduction

Moving on to the next stage in our development

      Windward is many things, one of which is a construction project. And, like many construction projects, the work has to be pretty far along before it becomes evident to the casual observer just what's under construction. Regardless of the intended use, the project needs land, access, utilities, water, sewage, storage, and so on regardless of what ultimate function the complex is meant to serve.

       In Windward's case it's finally becoming evident that what we're building here is a live-in educational facility, a school of sorts, and now that most of the basics are in place, it's time to talk about where the next phase of our growth will take us.

       The heart of any school is the faculty and the resources put in place to help the faculty develop and teach the subjects they excel in. Some subjects are conceptual and abstract, and while the study of sustainable living does involve many concepts and theories, our focus must always be on actual hands-on programs that provide cost-effective, ongoing benefits.

       Windward has no paid staff; the people who make this place work are volunteers who are doing this because it is what they believe in and what they want to do with their lives. The folks we're looking for are the ones who've thought to themselves, "Wouldn't it be great if I could figure out a way to do these things I love doing full time?"

       First and foremost, we are stewards: of this land, of these animals, of the arts and crafts that have been passed down. One of Windward's chief goals is to preserve these treasures in a way which insures that these resources will be preserved in order that they can serve the generations who will succeed us.

       In the words of Doogie McLean,
            "It's the land; it is our wisdom.
            It's the land; it shines us through.
            It's the land; it feeds our children.
            It's the land; you cannot own the land,
                  The land owns you."

       If that doesn't resonate within your heart, then this probably isn't the dream for you. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just that your path way well lie elsewhere.

      But, if you understand what Doogie's saying, if you have the grit it takes to return to the fundamentals, to the enduring realities of life close to the land, if you're willing to become a link in a chain of traditional arts and crafts that stretches back in time for countless generations, then we invite you to give this path serious consideration.

       The harsh reality is that traditional crafts thousands of years in the learning can be lost in just one generation unless new stewards step forward to keep them alive and relevant. It is vital that those who understand come forward to do and to teach, to study and develop, to expand and convey these ancients arts and crafts. That is what we are here to do. That is what we are about.

      The way we intend to do that is by the development of what the academic world calls "chairs".

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Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 64