A breathtaking oasis of natural beauty, music, poetry, food, ideas and conversation on a magical island
As we move away from the busyness and pressure of clock-driven schedules required by our careers,
the natural rhythm of the seasons re-emerges as a wise and trustworthy timekeeper.
Winter, spring, summer, and fall invite us to experience our lives as an ever-turning cycle of renewal.
We now want to explore the potential of regular Seasonal Gatherings in stunning natural settings--
mountain, desert, river, and ocean--to inspire and encourage this realignment.
Our first Seasonal Gathering took place on Orcas Island in Washington State over the Autumnal Equinox,
from September 21-24, 2019, at OrcaSong Farm, a lavender farm on the island.
Beautiful Orcas Island is in the San Juan Archipelago of Puget Sound in the Salish Sea.
We celebrated the Autumnal Equinox with three days of provocative speakers and artists, robust conversation,
sojourns of solitude, and breathtaking scenery.
Farther On Seasonal Gatherings explore the most basic and most profound of questions:
What do I do now?
This is the bedrock dilemma of so many leaving the world of work and entering their elder years.
It is also the challenge for all of us who are savoring the joys and freedom of elderhood
while also encountering (and finding a voice addressing) the challenges of disruption, divisiveness, and system degradation.
The freedom to spend our time however we choose is both a blessing and a curse.
We know that elderhood is a time ripe for fulfillment, the satisfying completion of a life well-lived;
but what fulfillment means to you may be very different from what it means to someone else...or to your partner.
E. B White expresses the elder dilemma succinctly.
“I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve (or save) the world and a desire to enjoy (or savor) the world.
This makes it hard to plan the day.”
Save and savor...responsibility and freedom...service and enjoyment.
These are the poles that call to us in our elder years.
Is elderhood a time of retirement from the troubles of the world, or a time of active re-engagement in a new role?
Have we earned the right to "let the great world spin" in the hands of the next generation
and take leave of any further responsibility for making it a better place?
Or are elders uniquely qualified to add a distinct and much-needed voice to the social dialogue?
Too much "savoring" can lead to denial, isolation, and self-absorption.
Too much "saving" can lead to pits of depression and despair.
How to "plan the day" is the practical challenge we face when time is our own to spend as we choose.
The choice between saving and savoring is not a binary one. We all will want to do both. What is the right mix for you?
Acts of saving and savoring the world run the gamut from simple to complex, tiny to grandiose,
conventional to unconventional. Where do you belong on these continuums?
How we--individually and collectively--"plan our days" and apportion our time and energy
will begin to weave a new story of what an elder is and does for our times.
Come ready to weave the threads of your own experience into the larger story of eldering in our times.
With thought leadership from:
Rocky Kimball, David Oldfield, Co-Founders, Farther On
David Whyte, Poet and Author
Farther On's first Seasonal Gathering was underwritten by the OrcaSong Foundation and co-sponsored by FRED Leadership.