Letter from the Director – October 2021

Why We Believe

I spent the morning digging holes for trail signs. Despite roots and plenty of rocks to dig around, the signs are now in place. One special “poem sign” (see photo above) contains a poem by East Tennessee poet/writer Linda Parsons. The name of the poem is “Believe.” Linda graciously gave permission for us to print her writing for use on one of the colony trails. 

Ever since we claimed the word “Believe” as our special RWC word, there’s been a sort of pixie-dust-sprinkled magic around the colony. Well, really the magic was always there, but it feels energized and magnified with the naming of it. Just like the power that comes from being named and known as writers, the strength that comes from naming our belief makes it even more real and relevant. Saying “We believe in the power of words” is different from simply saying “the power of words.” The belief makes all the difference because what you believe rises from the very core of who you are. It is your soul center. It is the gravity that commands every act, every choice, every thought. 

When I say I believe in writers, it’s not a flippant, easy quip. It’s a learned belief guided by 3 years of interacting with over 300 writers. Nearly every one of these writers has days of doubt and hesitation. That’s the truth of the human journey. Every one of these writers has something unique and important to write. That’s the truth of the individual brilliance and light that shines inside us all. I’m lucky enough to get to see it – weekly – with every new group of writers I welcome to Rockvale. 

I’m learning that when you believe in the abilities and passion of writers, the magic seems to ricochet from tree to fence to farmhouse until every blade of grass on our 65 acres is infused with it. Writers pick it up like a baton in a relay race and pass it back to us. They share their faith in the colony with writer friends and the web of belief expands. Some even leave us reminders and gifts (see the photo group below) – proof of just how powerful a single word can be. 

So, why do I believe? Because I trust in the universe to conspire for our good. I’ve seen reciprocity, serendipity, and synchronicity too many times over the last 3 years not to believe that there’s something magical here. It all rests on one word and that word is the colony’s gift to everyone who comes here. We don’t make it difficult to figure out what the word is. It’s written everywhere. And you can feel it – everywhere. Believe.