PeerSpirit Newsletter – The Owl and the Tree
Insights and New Sites
by Christina Baldwin and Ann Linnea
Looking back at the newsletter archives for 2022, we see the process of gentle closures we have been in. January 2022, we announced the end of offering Cascadia Quest with Deborah Greene-Jacobi. Deb was engaged in a profound challenge with cancer, Ann was facing back surgery, and Christina was editing the manuscript of her novel. Instead of being at Skalitude Retreat Center,Deb was home for her 70th birthday where her daughter and community threw her a great party. Deb died November 18, and on her birthday this coming June we will be attending her memorial. (Thankfully, Ann has recovered fully from her back surgery).
In March 2022, Christina announced the completion of thirty-two years of teaching The Self as the Source of the Story. She had two wonderful and full sessions in April and December, wrote an amazing blog about what it means to walk over the bridge at Aldermarsh Retreat Center and let this go.
Act. Vote. Persist.
Useful advice about many things from the ballot box to daily choices. Act on what has heart and meaning. Vote with our attention, time, commitments. Persist in loving the world, the people around us, our own life path.
In December 2022, we wrote a love letter to the Aldermarsh which has housed so much of our life work. Years and years of seminars reverberate in that space. And on December 31, we closed PeerSpirit, Inc. which we founded January 1, 1994. The office phone line is gone. The Langley post office box is gone. We have become the circle’s emeriti— a word defined as “retired from professional life but permitted to retain our honorary titles.” In our minds, those honorary titles include student of an ancient power, servant of story, steward of Nature.
The little backyard building from which we three peer spirits reached out to the world, its desks, computers, printers, and mail order book station, is now a sitting room with a couch and bookshelves honoring Christina’s six-years of novel research. There’s a table for craft work, a reading lamp, and rug on the floor. The filing cabinet holds only essential records and the back room is in a state of discernment and dispersal.
That’s a lot of closing down. This first quarter of 2023 we have focused on what is opening up. We have new online presence:
- www.annlinnea.com holds Ann’s biography, books, and blog posts that record her exuberant recovery from back surgery and ski trips to celebrate with athletic friends.
- www.christinabaldwin.com holds Christina’s biography, books, and blog posts that acknowledge the completion of her novel manuscript and the waiting period while the submissions proceed in the capable hands of her agent.
- www.peerspirit.com, will become a slimmed-down repository for our history, including archived years of blog posts and newsletters.
Closing and opening are major themes at this time in our lives. In these first days of spring, we see this cycle mirrored all around us. We rake up winter debris, move maple leaves off the emerging tulips and garlic, mow our ragged lawn (sorry Minnesota families, we know you are still snowed under), and weed the garden beds to make way for early peas and spinach.
Outdoors, indoors, online: we keep discovering what our real capacities are, what energizes us, what sap juice rises in the old tree trunks of our seventy-something bodies, minds, spirits. We don’t feel done. We feel incredible gratitude for continuance and know that this process of letting go and picking up, setting aside and taking on, falling down and getting up, losing role and claiming purpose is active in many lives. Join us, for as long as ever we can.