As I write this, I am on a flight returning to CT from a visit to my childhood home in WI. Tomorrow Paula and I will open the doors to The Story Barn (www.FriedaB.com/TheStoryBarn), and I find myself right now, in-flight, in a serendipitous state of mind and place… an awareness of the opportunity before me to pull into my present and future all that I treasure most about my past.
More succinctly put, I have an understanding of why The Story Barn has come to be.
While home in WI I visited many places I loved as a child: the lake, the band shell, Main Street, the countryside, church, my favorite ice cream shop (there since 1932), my dad’s favorite place for a burger (there since 1946)… icons for me of community and belonging. And I visited these places with my husband and boys, and my parents – people I love with all my heart. I spent Friday morning around a table in a local coffee shop with a group of American Heritage Girls, learning more about one another and talking about how we each can use what we’re good at to make the world a better place; it made my heart glow. Dave and I and the boys attended the wedding of the oldest son of two of our longest-held friends… the tradition, faith, laughter, the heart-in-the-throat moments, the eating and dancing and hugging, the remembering of all that has been, the well-wishing and praying for all that is to come.
And it hits me on this flight home… This – this– is all I want for and from life, and it is wholly what I want for The Story Barn: Authentic community. Where home and heart grow out of a belief that the story of every person matters, and where every person feels purposefully connected to a greater whole. Authentic community is plain and simple and intricate and fragile and indestructible and utterly everything essential to the human spirit.
And while it seems in many circles we’ve lost sight of this essential-ness over the years, I’m heartened to see an awakening to it and a hunger for it. A seeking. Many of us are beginning to identify a need for what we’ve been missing.
And it is here that I marvel: somehow a sweet little red horse barn on seven acres of land in my hometown of CT has become the property of Frieda B., LLC – and through this property we are being gifted with the opportunity to encourage, explore and celebrate all that is truly essential to the human spirit: story, autonomy, community, purpose, play, imagination, fulfillment.
And not just for kids, but for every person who steps foot on the property.
As my sister Julie says, my heart is filled to overflowing.
This is how I return to the home of my adult life, bringing with me a renewed and somewhat panoramic sense of my own purpose and potential. Tomorrow Paula and I will open the doors to The Story Barn. And it is my heart’s desire that, in doing so, we will add to the story of good people everywhere dedicated to the return of authentic community.
That is why The Story Barn.
Because every story matters.
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