The Garden Center for Peace and Cooperation
Otis and I had separate (but similar) inspirations to build a beautiful, natural building on our property that would be an office as well as a gathering and working center for small groups. Without thinking I sat down and wrote out this intention for the building:
The Garden Center for Peace and Cooperation: A place where personal responsibility and mature cooperation lead to creative actions that serve the greater good.
Not bad at all. The building was completed in 2012. And it was officially opened and celebrated with a big feast, a bonfire, live music, 22 folks from the community, and a full moon rising over the horizon. It was a spectacular night. Now we are fast approaching 2019 and the building has been an amazing support to us and the many small groups we have hosted up here. Many people comment on the healing feeling of the Garden Center space, as well as the view towards the 88-foot circle garden and down the green valley dotted with draft horses, vineyards and farms. Often, when I hold meetings up here, people say to me, “I never want to leave here.” Recently, the executive director of a nonprofit who spent the day up here with her leadership team said this to me over lunch, “I think things can come out here and things can happen here that would not happen anywhere else.” Dang! That is just what Otis and I wanted.
The Garden Center (as we call it for short) is dedicated to my parents, Douglas Wayne Owens and Shirley Marlene Wessel Owens. Both of my parents committed their lives to improving the lives of other people around them in profound ways. Through their life long examples, they both taught me to love ALL PEOPLE and NATURE and care for them as you yourself would want to be cared for. The best tribute I can give them is to do the same myself. This is quite a motivating force for me.