Tonight, I was an invited guest at a local “Dinner on the farm” to be shared in a beautiful old barn with about a hundred other local people, many of them familiar faces, some closer friends, and some that became great new acquaintances on the spot.
Waiting for the cooks to finish up assembling the many fares (all bounty raised and grown on the premises), conversations rolled, local wines were poured, and music was played (http://www.thisoldearthquake.com/music/) while the sun finally set, leaving behind a deep blue sky with only Venus brightly visible, magical scene framed in the old barn open doorway. The whole set up was in itself worth being there, and the company was a delight.
Talking with a newly met table guest, I found myself elaborating on the many reasons that made a barn feel so good and so appropriate for such a gathering… It seems that not only barns are serviceable and essential to the work on a farm, but it also has been a central building in the many events and relationships of rural human groups for a very long time… So much so that even those of us who were not raised on a farm can feel the comfort, the safety, the primal pleasure to gather in one and share food and wine and music there…
Barns have been built by groups of men working together in a brotherly way, they were used for stocking the precious hay, but also for large gatherings in times of weddings, or celebrations around harvests or celestial events such as Solstice and Equinox… People sweated and worked hard in a barn, but they also found shelter, waited out of the rain, rolled in spontaneous frolicking, danced their heart out or mourned a loved one. Barns are us.
The part of me carrying lineage, old wisdom and collective memories, enjoyed the evening as naturally as you slip on an old sweater, to feel at home and comforted by it. The current part of me, woman, artist and adopted local, also basked in the glow of tiny lights and the smell of country food, the laughter, the many voices, the hugs on the fly, the reconnection with long time friends…
It all felt like celebrating the many harvests of life.
And it felt utterly right to be there with so many people, of so different walks of life, united in this simple but magnificent sharing of food. Because there is no point honoring abundance on one’s own is there ?
I was sitting there at a certain point, observing the human ballet of many individuals in an enclosed space, the exchanges, the offerings, the sweetness of it all and I realized all over again, how fragile, priceless and phenomenal it is to be alive… alive now.
Fugacity hit me square in the face, for a fleeting second…
And gratitude came in, as I just left myself be surrounded, fed, talked to, warmed inside and out by the loaned wool throw and the many connections, the web of humanness I was happily part of.
As I watch my life expanding and taking flight at this time, many blessings pouring in, and my dreams coming true, I know that being an artist is also to be part of this self weaving tapestry, this gregarious need for belonging and sharing with my tribe, my fellow humans, all together hurtling through the ether on our blue marble, knowing nothing of what will bring me to the other side of life, but so acutely aware of our absolute equality in front of it: sometimes, some day, other people will be there doing these atavistic things and they will feel connected, and they will look at the sky, and they will see Venus… But I won’t be there.
Knowing such a thing is the curse and the blessing that make me want more than ever to honor the abundance in my life and send waves of appreciation to ripple out and out, forever, into the universe.
Let us be thankful…! And let us be brotherly… worldwide. Because really, why would we waste any of this wonderful gift doing otherwise ?
Learn more about the Mann’s Family Farm in Bolinas : https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mann-Family-Farm/385019088255203?fref=ts