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thinking about what this means ….

thinking about what this means if another inferno blows out of Nuns Canyon, and I’m also cringing for Glen Ellen, which must absorb this influx. But if it happens slowly, I believe we can mitigate impacts on traffic, fire hazards, open space, and quality of life.

Take a Deep Breath

Way back when, another consulting firm (WRT) was dispatched to Glen Ellen to engage the community in planning SDC’s future. The facilitator posed this question: What would you want to see different at SDC in fifty years?

I said, “Nothing.” In fifty years, I said, I want to drive down Arnold Drive through SDC and not know anything had changed, even though it had. I want to feel the same tranquility.

Now remember, at the time, SDC was full of people and industry. It was still a hospital, with caregivers coming and going, and residents taking walks, and gardeners tending the grounds. Behind the scenes people were taking care of other people, fixing meals and running the steam plant and making custom wheelchairs. All sorts of people, all manner of industry, all kinds of busyness happening all over the campus.

But along Arnold Drive, it was tranquil.

So what would I see if my plan came to pass, fifty years later, when I’m an astonishingly old lady? Surprisingly spry, I am taking a break on Buck’s bench after my docent shift at the Little House Ranger Station. I sit in the shade of oaks older than me, forming a bower over the two lanes of Arnold Drive. Industry and people are all around: residents taking walks, fixing meals, and making things.

As I sip cold, fresh amber ale brewed just a block away, my great-great-granddaughter tells me about how good things are. Her family loves living and working here, and being able to visit me in my ramshackle cottage on London Ranch Road. I nod with satisfaction, thinking back on the transformation I have witnessed here, from bustling hospital to empty, ramshackle playground for dog walkers, to a small, vibrant neighborhood of Glen Ellen where people prioritize synchronicity with the natural world. I gum a fine piece of locally sourced artisan cheese and rejoice in this lovely roadway, this quiet gateway, this familiar, cherished exhale of beauty and peace.

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