Sanctuary Communities Newsletter

Looking back through our newsletters, I’m struck by how often I’m referencing the weather. That’s not a category of conversation that popped into my mind regularly when we lived in Miami. (Okay, maybe in August when the heat was particularly oppressive.)

Here in the mountains, weather is a big deal all the time. One reason, I think, is that there are such obvious transitions between seasons. Each is distinctive. And each inspires rumination about what’s just past and what might be ahead. The seasons organize the year.

I also think that because we’re surrounded by such dramatic natural landscapes, we’re more conscious of the rhythms of nature. We’d better be. From time to time, the weather whacks us on the head, reminding us that our schedules and petty plans are more vulnerable than we think to systems that are not of our devising.

It’s a good lesson: If you can’t control it, let go of that delusion. Adapt.

If I wasn’t already thinking along those lines, the last few weeks would have reminded me. We’ve had some real winter this year. Snow, freezing rain, icy conditions. So our family has adjusted our schedules. We avoid being out in the worst of the weather and take time to enjoy the best, particularly the fresh snowfall. And I have to tell you, it’s more than a little comforting watching the snow come down in town, where we know we can walk to whatever we need if the roads are impassable.

I’m applying the same adaptive attitude to the economy. Can’t control it. Can’t predict it. Just have to adjust to what comes next. And it turns out that, once I commit to less fret and more flexibility, I’m encouraged by what I see.

First of all, we’ve already had a good start in 2010 stimulating discussions locally about how good community planning and design helps inspire good community in general and good environments for “successful aging” in particular. We made a little presentation at the League of Women Voters’ January luncheon about cohousing. And lots of folks showed on a winter day. Some came all the way from Asheville.

You can read about our presentation in the local news here and get background on cohousing from our January e-news. We’ll be making more presentations on the “aging in place” and cohousing themes in the spring and beyond and will announce dates on our website. If you want to talk about these ideas before then, give me a call or send me an email. We love the topic.

The second encouraging trend is the increased number of inquiries about Sanctuary Village, including a couple from folks who all but recited our marketing materials in explaining why they were so interested in moving into an in-town neighborhood in which they could experience real community. We’re barely two months into the new year, and I’ve already talked to more folks about the Village than I did in the last six months of 2009. What do you think this means?

My reading is that lots of folks are coming to the same conclusions I have. If we’re waiting for certainty about the future, we can wait forever. Time to focus on what we can control and what we need to live healthy, happy lives for our time left on earth. For many who made living in community a goal before the recession, the current uncertainty has been a bump in the road but not a path-changer.

Given the increased activity now, in the heart of winter, I can’t wait for March and April, when the mountain spring inspires us all to bold visions. New season, new opportunities. Let me know if you’re feeling the same way. We’ll be ready for you in Sanctuary Village.

Tim and Iva Ryan
Town Founders

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Winter 2010
Winter Fun in the WNC Mountains


Winter Fun in the WNC Mountains


Winter Fun in the WNC Mountains


Winter Fun in the WNC Mountains


Winter in Sanctuary Village


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