A Letter From Our Board President
to the Hawthorne Valley Community
As you read this annual report from Hawthorne Valley Association, I hope you will see the takeaways right away and find them as heartening as I do. We have had a most unusual year. Everyone has undergone deprivation, isolation, and uncertainty in these tumultuous times. We have seen the almost overwhelming confluence of a pandemic, political conflict and chaos, racist violence and protest in response, and economic retrenchment in both the public and private sectors. But this report tells another story—one of great resilience and beauty.
The truest story of all is that we continue to find meaning and direction in our lives together. Hawthorne Valley is discovering anew what makes this community so special. Here we are now with another year behind us memorialized in this annual report, but still mid-stream in the turbulence. We are still in the midst of great dislocation in our lives together, but we are undaunted. We are rising to the occasion, crafting new ways of working together toward the deep fulfillment that Rudolph Steiner offered a century ago as the vision for Waldorf Schools, biodynamic agriculture, and all the other divisions that make up Hawthorne Valley Association.
Looking for an image to describe what I see happening at Hawthorne Valley, I recalled some words from a letter of John Keats to his brother in 1810. He said that people are misguided if they think this world is a “vale of tears,” to which he countered, “call the world if you Please the ‘vale of Soul-making.’” I had a friend many years ago who said something similar, his retort to a jingle about getting tough when faced with difficulty: “When the going gets tough, love gets going.” Read the following pages, friends of Hawthorne Valley, with an eye toward the compassion, cooperation, and creativity people offer when struggling with unforeseen circumstances. You can glimpse the joy of children and adults alike as they grow with this community despite any constraints thrown in their path. This is the path toward Hawthorne Valley’s future as it prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary next year.
President of the Board of Trustees
Hawthorne Valley Association