I’ve been writing here for some time now and quite often it relates to my work at The Dale.  Close to twenty years ago, in my early days of doing this kind of work, I would send out hard copy newsletters to the people supporting me (I still do, but on a lesser scale). Those newsletters were most effective when they contained real stories of my every day life. Now I have access to this public platform in order to share. I am aware this opens up all kinds of possibility, i.e. having a far wider reach, but also demands maybe a different level of care. I have no control over who reads or shares my little newsletter.

I want to assure all of you that I have created some ‘rules’ for myself here. One is that I seek permission from the community to tell their stories. Sometimes I am told right in the middle of an experience that I should “make sure I tell people about this” or that I don’t need to ask. Other-times I know immediately that a story should be held tight and it stays in my heart or journal. Another rule is that I change defining features of people in order to uphold their confidence. This isn’t always necessary, but when it is I will for example, change someone’s name (I put the new name in quotation marks). Further, I sometimes need to generalize an experience so that it is less about an individual and more about what I learned through them.

I don’t take my responsibility here lightly. Each day I pray that my eyes, ears and heart will be open to what I need to see, hear and learn. And I assure you, I know that I need to be taught a LOT. I am humbled by the invitation I have received to be in the position I am at The Dale and hope to represent it well, in as transparent and vulnerable way as possible.

Thank you to my readers for supporting and challenging me along the way. I know there is no shortage of reading material out there and so I appreciate when people choose to drop by. The journey is made sweeter by not being alone.