View from the Meeting House Deck: The Perspective of Two Visionaries

By Jim Paley and Wendy Kass

The Meet­ing House deck looks out over a vista that is time­less in its beau­ty. Eons of geo­log­i­cal time. Cen­turies of his­tor­i­cal time. Time past. Time present. Time future. 

From this van­tage point, one can reflect upon the past, envi­sion­ing the land­scape as it once was. For cen­turies a wilder­ness of tall trees, lush veg­e­ta­tion, count­less ani­mals and birds. Then sud­den­ly, in geo­log­ic terms, a farm appears with cows, crops, and conviction.

One becomes attune to the now, and real­izes the boun­ti­ful rich­ness the area brings. A deck for dream­ing. A struc­ture for art, edu­ca­tion, and enter­tain­ment. A field for gaz­ing at every­thing from newts to novas.

And what of the future? One can dream. One can spec­u­late. One tries to see into the future:

  • Per­haps, some­day, a large open air amphithe­ater for out­door enter­tain­ment events sit­ed on the hill.
  • Cer­tain­ly more music, art, and sculp­tures, with an increased rep­u­ta­tion as a region­al art cen­ter, a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion at Landis.
  • The Meet­ing House that evolves into a facil­i­ty with more uses, includ­ing an emer­gency shel­ter with the capa­bil­i­ty to house local res­i­dents in the event of a nat­ur­al dis­as­ter. And wed­dings, con­fer­ences, and expand­ed edu­ca­tion­al pro­grams will all be bet­ter accom­mo­dat­ed in this new space. 

Nation­al promi­nence for the Lan­dis col­lec­tions, like the ren­o­vat­ed lilac gar­den vis­i­ble from the deck. The George Lan­dis Arbore­tum final­ly receives the recog­ni­tion that so many peo­ple have worked so hard to achieve.

Poet T. S. Eliot reflect­ed Time present and time past / Are both per­haps present in time future, / And time future con­tained in time past.” 

We invite our vis­i­tors, mem­bers, and vol­un­teers to con­tem­plate the past, cel­e­brate the present, and help cre­ate a phe­nom­e­nal future.


Summer 2018

Volume 36 , Number 3

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