The Harmony Projecta quiet revolution
By LINDA COBB
Natural beauty, people, opportunity, and new experiences were the attractions that brought us to Northeastern Pennsylvania more than 30 years ago. They are the attributes that continue to endear us to this area.
This beautiful place we call home gave my family and me the opportunity to literally create a home that embraces the beautiful setting in which we live. This is an opportunity that would not have been possible in another location, but this vision was fulfilled here. We took great care in respecting the countryside when planning every aspect of this project. Part of our landscaping is the Christmas trees we celebrate with and then plant in the spring.
The natural beauty I embrace every morning from my window has been inspirational in many ways. The pond and the sun rising over the mountain instill both calm and gratitude for the new day. Many mornings wea group of six friends of different religions and political backgroundsmeet to discuss inspirational literature over a few cups of coffee. We choose the literature as we go along. We have no rules, just an interest in enhancing our lives with positive thoughts and actions. Hal Urban, Don Miguel Ruiz, Brennan Manning, and many others have authored some of our favorites. Its a wonderful, positive way to start any day, and it has led to a series of events that none of us could have foreseen. It is where the idea for the Harmony Project finally came together. The vision for this project, which highlights Respect, Compassion, Acceptance, and Gratitude, was born at my dining room table with friends old and new looking for a simple, positive way to inspire ourselves and others to embrace these character traits on a daily basis. We feel its important for all of us understand that everyone can make a difference. The Harmony Project is a grassroots attempt to create a better world with real change being brought about by the ordinary people, you and me, working for positive change. A project supporter describes it as the quiet revolution. Thats probably my favorite description. Our hope is that our vision is adopted by many.
One of the best attributes of this area is the people who live here. Some of these people belong to families that have been here for generations, some are newcomers. Some are people who have left and then returned. All are important to the personality of this area. In particular, I am in awe of the array of artists and artisans, whose variety of talents astounds me. There are artists and craftspeople tucked in every nook and cranny of the Upper Delaware River Valley. I myself love to quilt, and paint, and play with paper. Ive spent some hours at a potters wheel that Ive thoroughly enjoyed. If youve ever wondered what your own talents are, give an artistic endeavor a try. It may give you a new vision to pursue.
(Linda Cobb is a retired New York City elementary school teacher who was one of the principal creators of the Harmony Project.]