The Field

I have been in a rut, lately.  With the help of some wise advisers, I have shaken the rut, to a degree.  I am noticing more by looking and walking.  Being aware.  I still have a way to go, but I am on the path.

My family and I have a group of friends that gets together in a big field on Sunday afternoons to garden and eat together.  One family rents the field to grow vegetables for our local food hub and a modest CSA, plus they sell at our small-but-mighty farmer’s market.  We show up, plant, weed (well, I show up and eat, mostly), build a fire, eat food (that’s what I do best), and catch up on the week’s events, share information (like kudzu jelly recipes and the latest art) and (like this: from Robert Burns’ “To a Mouse:”

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!)

People bring casseroles, salads they made from their gardens, chips, home-made salsas, hummus, pastas, cheeses, fruit…it’s a smorgasbord.  We are artists, musicians, teachers, foresters, farmers, designers, contractors, home-schoolers, mothers, fathers, kids…and we are all creating something out of life.  It may not be a big thing, but it is a great thing.  Sunday afternoons have become my sanctuary.

Last week, I brought a guitar and ended up playing some songs by the fire…the first time I have played music outside of my children’s bedroom in a long time.  I did not know how it was going to go, and it went…well.  This group has met through various channels–I have met some of them just by going to the Field.  Food and music.  Music and food.  Outside.  Walking.  Singing.  Eating.  Family and friends gathering together outside inspires me to create.  We are creating something…separately and together.  Sharing.  Community.  It’s good stuff.  When people say they generally don’t like Steve Miller, but they could sit and listen to me (of all people) sing “The Joker” for the rest of the evening, we’re onto something.  The Field is worth cultivating, on many levels.

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