(Emily is our Season long Friend in Residence — and is seeing Chautauqua for the first time. Here are some of her impressions (Ed.)
from Emily Provance, Friend in Residence
One thing I notice right away is the amount of space that drivers leave for pedestrians. I’m used to places where a car will swish right past me if I’m walking. But here, no vehicle goes by unless I physically step all the way out of the street. Nor does anyone honk at me; they just slow down and quietly wait.
Quaker House, too, is about making space. The steering committee has put so much thought into every cabinet, every light switch, every book, every quilt. Who do we hope to welcome in this space? What will they need? How can we provide it? When you come, you’ll discover a warm and comfortable home in which to meet, sip tea, nap, chat, go spiritually deep, or simply play.
The ground floor is designed for people dropping by, with space for worship, meals, and conversations. I look forward to discovering how else we might gather here. Worship sharing? Board games? Intergenerational story times? Bible studies? We’re prepared for any and all of the above.
Upstairs is made for those who are staying here, with comfy beds, warm lamplight, breezy windows, and rocking chairs on the balcony. These spaces are about sabbatical: connected to sabbath, both from the Hebrew word shabbath, meaning “rest.” Those staying at Quaker House will never need to be bored, with lectures and discussions and entertainment all over the Chautauqua grounds, but it’s equally possible to stock up on naps.
In just a few days, we’ll transition from waiting time to welcoming time. But for now, it’s all about making space.