Now that I'm living at the center I get to see every new face that shows up at our door. In the last couple of months we've been receiving a good number of first time visitors.
Most never come back. Some come for a time or two after their initial visit. Only a very, very few show the first signs of making practicing here a part of their weekly or monthly schedule and an important part of their life.
I sometimes fret about this, but yesterday I heard from one of the newbies (now back for a second time, and this time with his wife) the best way to think about people coming here or not coming here.
This guy came to the center some 30+ years ago and hasn't been back again until now. He remembers people maybe only one or two others still here remember. He's lived in Evanston pretty much the whole time since, and he works only five blocks from the center.
At brunch one of the members asked him why the 30 year lapse. He answered, "I wasn't ready."