The sight of a red barn nestled in a valley evokes a sense of security, where humans care for nature, store her bounty, and prepare for the future. While built for utility, it is also a warm, embracing structure. It represents a place of connection, a community gathering place, where humans meet to help each other with the work of a farm, or to have a celebration. For many of us in the industrialized, technology-driven world, we live side-by-side with people we never know. We walk on pavement and manicured lawns. Landscaping is for beauty only and we rarely feel the dirt beneath our fingers anymore. We’ve become disconnected from each other and the earth – from nature and our true nature. We can lose a sense of our interconnectedness, and life may become a linear pursuit, instead of a web of interactions, growing exponentially greater and awe-inspiring as we make more and more connections.
A red barn represents the confluence of technology and nature, the ability of humans and nature to live and thrive together, not at the expense of each other, but sustainably and harmoniously. Thus, the Red Barn Institute is a gathering place, where people come together to learn lessons from nature that can be applied in all aspects of our lives, promoting healthy, sustainable living practices at work, at home, in the environment, and even on the farm.
“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand
invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe.” ~ John Muir