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At the Table, This Work I Get To Do

Photography by Skip Vetter

 

Tami asked me to write a blog. What’s on top for me?

Depends on the day – depends on the place. The caldron of my life is constantly being stirred at this stage of life as I consider the realities of living my seventh decade in this world. Things no one ever told me: that one day you’d look in the mirror and say “my god – when did this happen?” Getting old is a shock to the system – because inside I feel pretty much the same as I always did: an observer in a world I don’t often fit into – looking at those around me and wondering why they seem to have it all together – and knowing that, mostly, I don’t.

But I have managed to figure out some things in the course of my time here on this beautiful earth – what’s important and what’s not.

The experience of losing my husband of 47 years and walking through the grief of that brought me to a place of surrender. It ended all my interest in trivial things – and when you look around – most of what we worry about are really trivial things. I learned that only love and kindness are worth my time, and I started to try to live my life accordingly. I’m so fortunate to have landed here at Abundance among a group of peers who seem to value some of what I’ve learned along the way.

photo by Adrian Moreno

Abundance has become like a second family to me – a comfortable place even when uncomfortable things are happening – and maybe because uncomfortable things happen.

The secret is that we face them and work through them. We all grow from those experiences. Abundance gives me a chance to be real in a world that’s so not. In my lifetime I’ve seen our society accelerate the destruction of everything in its path – consuming and transforming into waste everything it touches. It made a cynic out of me for much of my life. Now I know that cynicism is just a defense against the grief we feel as we witness the loss of so much of the world.

We are part of nature.

Our failure to acknowledge that truth threatens our future and the future of the planet. Not everyone agrees. Many are too busy acquiring and consuming as we are taught to do. Others just struggle to exist. But more and more of us are learning that accumulating all the “stuff” doesn’t fill the hole in our soul that longs for connection with others and with the abundant natural world. At Abundance I’ve found a way to contribute to the work that needs doing – building real community, addressing difficult issues of our time, connecting with others with similar values. I love this work I get to do.

Photo by Charlotte Vetter


About the Author

Charlotter Vetter – Chief Financial Officer at Abundance NC

Charlotte is a wise elder.  To Abundance, she brings gentle joy, carries sage wisdom, and serves as an anchor of honesty – keeping us from drifting too far out to sea.  To all who meet her, she is an inspiration of change and hope.  Charlotte is ever curious, an eternal lover, and notetaker of the soul.

 

 

At Abundance we bring people together to cultivate and celebrate community resilience in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Learn more about us and what we do.

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“…We have barely disembarked into life…we’ve only just now been born, let’s not fill our mouths with so many uncertain names, with so many sad labels, with so many pompous letters, with so much yours and mine, with so much signing of papers. I intend to confuse things, to unite them, make them new-born intermingle them, undress them, until the light of the world has the unity of the ocean, a generous wholeness, a fragrance alive and crackling.”
― Pablo Neruda

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