Dear Editor: Thank you to Bettina Raphael and Western Friend for the worthy tribute to the life and legacy of Olive Rush (March/April 2020).
My daughter and I recently discovered the historical treasure that Olive Rush bequeathed to the Santa Fe Quakers. We found it by good fortune on a magical train trip through the Southwest. The chance to spend time in Rush’s old home, now the graceful adobe Santa Fe Meetinghouse – in the guest apartment there – gave our hearts and minds an intimacy with the past vibration of Santa Fe. The location afforded us access to its current cultural vitality.
And most especially, we felt the radiance of Olive Rush’s wondrous soul in the building, gardens, and interior artifacts.
At the time of our visit in 2019, my daughter and I learned that the meeting had a question about growth versus preservation. We saw a rendering of a new building proposed for the back of the garden. Bettina Raphael’s article has prompted me to express my views.
Once altered, there is no going back. In my life, it has happened countless times that the graceful monuments of our fathers and mothers have been sacrificed to meet current exigencies for growth. The land has been disturbed, flora is lost, and birds flee.
Please consider how a new building could irrevocably alter the gentle vibration of the current property. Surely there is a creative and aesthetic solution that will allow the Olive Rush bequest to be maintained in its whole form as a functioning testament to an amazing Quaker woman and to Quaker values in general.
– Tyger Wright, attender, Santa Cruz Monthly Meeting (PacYM)
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