To All Our Relatives

Greetings To All Our Relatives,

2017 has been a year of movement and stillness. Much like throwing a stone into a pond and watching the ripples, we have felt ourselves shift and stabilize, cast away from the familiar and seek unknown horizons. In the end, we have come to the the conclusion that relationships are the meaning makers for creating joy and conviviality across moments of chaos that life inevitably presents.

Some of these details from our little family may be enjoyable for you to peruse and so we offer a few of the highlights and lowlights from the year just gone. 

Tobias and Espen made two father-son trips to Denmark this year, totally sans mom, to great success. We fully acknowledge the opportunity for bi-lingualism and cultural plurality that having parents from different cultures affords Espen and committed to supporting this from the time he was born. This year he is 4 and we felt he was old enough to travel without mom so he could be immersed in a Danish-only environment and have a chance to get the unfiltered Danish experience.

He and his dear farmor spent many hours dashing through the forests, poking around in streams and preparing food together. Espen came back saying a very Danish sounding, "Eah" every other breath, which he still whips out whenever he can.

Firsts seemed to be a theme of 2017, both in our family and in our larger American culture.

I started grad school for a Masters in Leadership and Sustainability Education which yielded a provocative first quarter full of notions around self-organizing systems, field theory and creativity. Reading Blessed Unrest by Paul Hawken reminded me that hope is not unfounded in these challenging times--that we are collectively organizing in organic and interrelated ways that span the globe and address all of our most pressing issues...we just may not have a complete overview on how many individuals and organizations are working on them...

So keep at your work, no matter what scale it may be on! Local, national, global--they are all connected, they all matter, we all have work to do to balance the enormous debt we have incurred to our beautiful, living planet.

Tobias has continued to grow and challenge himself on personal and professional fronts-- from the obvious physical challenges of placing in the top 5% of his age group in mixed terrain races like the Spartan to maintaining a rigorous travel docket for work and managing an international team, he always seems to rise to the occasion with an open heart and a willing spirit-two of the things I admire most about him.

When I reflect on 2017, I see the image of debris from a massive explosion being thrown up into the air and raining down on the land and people below. The social, political and environmental fabric of the world has been stretched, torn and revealed as the tattered covering it is for a way of being that is less about relationship and more about exploitation and domination. Seeing just how deep and wide the wounds run has been sobering and overwhelming at best and down-right dismal at worst.

And yet, in the midst of all this unrest and upheaval, change emerges. A new sense of identity and purpose begins to crystallize for we cannot remain in despair indefinitely. We either dream a greater dream or we die. I'll be the first to admit, I had to let go of certain perspectives like being "right", in order to create space for a more humane, realistic and relational path to emerge.

But having cast off from the shores of the familiar homeland called What I Thought I Knew, I am honestly excited and inspired by the voyage ahead.

From the Eld-Mathis clan to you, we hope to be a part of your journeys in 2018 and beyond. We are most certainly stronger and kinder when we have you in our lives.

Jaime, Tobias and Espen


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