Holden Voices: Blog

Poems, stories, and reflections, written by faculty, staff, and volunteers currently serving in the Village.

JANELLE BOUMAN: Coping with Cancellations

May 26, 2020 at 12:00 PM

Day 72

“We look forward to welcoming you to the Village this summer!”

I’ve used that line in hundreds of Registration emails since October. It turns out we’re no longer welcoming any of these people this summer, and I want to acknowledge that it hurts.

It hurts to undo over seven months of hard work that Barbara, David, and I dedicated to summer reservations. All the hours spent re-checking every detail. The housing assignment puzzles that we solved to create spaces for one more person. The 30 different group visits, meticulous spreadsheets, and email labels. All cancelled.

One joy of Registration is seeing how much this place means to our guests, and I’m hurting for them, too. For the couple who was going to celebrate their 50th anniversary at Holden this summer, and the first-time Villagers who were so excited about finally being able to come. All cancelled.

My family was also supposed to visit this summer. I haven’t seen my brother in a year, and we were going to share our favorite Holden hikes for the first time since we were children. That’s cancelled, too.

I am weary from clicking the “cancel” button in Maestro far too many times, and knowing that it carries thousands of people’s disappointment. Take a moment to recognize the grief that surrounds all the plans that have to be cancelled and the work that has to be undone. We’re still processing this together.

In peace,

Janelle Bouman is Registrar at Holden Village. This column was originally published on May 26, 2020 in a daily newsletter, "The Quarantine Quarter," which is compiled by various staff members and sent to all Villagers.