Andi Cumbo first crossed my path in cyberspace about five years ago when I began writing Bookstack, and she then participated regularly in my Write On Wednesday blog meme. So it's fitting today's Write On Wednesday post should honor a major step in the achievement of Andi's long-held writing dream. Last fall, Andi purchased a farm in the hills of Virginia. She named it "God's Whisper," and then wrote a book describing her vision of the community she hoped to grow. Today (thanks to Mindy Koenig!) Andi's friends have come together online to help launch this book into the wider world. The God's Whisper Manifesto is a lovely and thoughtful little book. It starts out as Andi's vision for her home, the God's Whisper farm, where she dreams of a community of artists who will come together under the ten guiding principles set forward in this volume. Yet as you read, you become aware that the God's Whisper Manifesto is much more than just one woman's dream for her ideal community. It's really a set of principles which could govern the world, each set forth in gently beautiful prose. Andi's writing style is easy and true, and she makes the reader feel the practicality and necessity of each of these precepts.
"Here at God's Whisper we practice 'Do unto others' by figuring out how the 'other' is like us. We love people first and hard. Every day. All day." At God's Whisper, the work of the artist is valued as much as the work of the lawyer or plumber or teacher. Play is "good," at God's Whisper, and rest is "treasured." Rolling down grassy hills is "wildly encouraged." You can lay on blankets and do nothing for hours if you want.
But service and work have their place, the earth is honored, food is simple and shared with love. And story - well, story is paramount at God's Whisper. "We know that our stories are our very lives. That we thrive and grow and fight and love because of the stories we know, the ones we live, and the ones we want to create."
The God's Whisper Manifesto will both calm and excite your spirit. Yes, you think with a deep satisfied sigh. This life is the stuff that dreams are made of. And you will want to be part of it, to make it come true in your world as well as on the God's Whisper farm.
In honor of today's book re-launch for The God's Whisper Manifesto, I am giving away a copy of Andi's book. For an opportunity to win, simply share this blog post via Facebook or Twitter, and leave a comment here telling me you've done so. The winner will be chosen at random on Friday, March 22, 2013.
For Twitter folks, join us tonight, 8:30 p.m., at the Twitter party (#godswhisper) where Andi will join us in discussing her vision for the God's Whisper community.