Rev Dr Jude


News from Pennsylvania
July 11, 2010, 12:40 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

Dear Family,

What a beautiful Gathering!

First, and most impressive, zero Forest Service Leo’s onsite the Third, the Fourth, the Fifth or the Sixth of July. Yes, there were the usual stories of intolerable harrassle early on, especially along the roads but something happened, something (no doubt) to do with both our own amazing peaceful behaviour in the face of FS Leo aggression over many years and also to do with the FS Admin and Resource people at last stepping up to do the right thing and pulling these aggressors back.

I don’t know what the mechanism was for that…but something happened. The good guys in the FS finally got up enough steam to stand their ground. My guesses are that either a) the Admin/Resource people took control of the ‘permit’ process and allowed for a working operating plan to stand on its own and/or b) the FS hierarchy did not issue an “Emergency Declaration’ and therefore the Unified Command system [which is the umbrella over the Incident Command that has been harrassing us] didn’t get it’s flood of funding.

We had what folks were calling the ‘Operating Plan from heaven’ – where details were talked over in public meetings right next to Info, an Op Plan where everything made sense, and where the last draft was brought out to the center of main circle and presented to the family openly and consensed to. Just amazing.

Second, the Gathering was beautiful. Young people and old timers all with the best intentions and both traditional and newly creative ideas, all getting along, all sharing and caring for each other and the earth. It was a really clean gathering. Everyone seeming to take care of their trash and recycling. I didn’t see any real messes. I didn’t see any sloppy-clan encampments. The area was relatively bug free, poison ivy free, tick and chigger free. Humid, yes. But lovely morning and evening temperatures. Just right for enjoying the lush green forest. Hemlocks and maples made a charming green shade everywhere. Wildflowers waved in the beezes and many smaller open meadows and woodland clearings were there to set up in…and if you wanted rocks to build with you were limited only by how much you cared to carry.

Third, the Gathering was healthy. I didn’t see any sick people. I’m sure some people out of the 10,000 there must have had some illness. Still there was no sickness spreading thru the camp at all. The water system was much simpler than some of the past few years, so people had to haul more water further, but the in-line-filtered water system really did its job and people stayed healthy.

Fourth, the temper of the Gathering was sweet and loving. It was like basking in waves of kindness. People helping each other, kitchens helping each other. Mutual support everywhere.

The Fourth of July Silence was deep and long. Late in the morning kids (and parents) from D-camp made a disturbance, threw some firecrackers. One kid was grabbed and bit the Shanti Sena who tried to stop it. There was a bunch of yelling. Things quieted down again and some self-appointed ‘prophets’ began mouthing off about their own versions of the future. But that too passed and in a great redemptive moment the Kids Parade entered in silence and for the longest time spiraled in among We The People to the center of our sweet circle. That was profoundly beautiful, proving once again that Kids Save the Day.

Well, those are my four brief reports. It was the shortest period of time I’ve been to any Gathering that I’ve gone to. And one of the most fun. I came in with a backpack instead of a trailer-full of gear. So I spent more time bopping around and less time setting up and taking down!

Here are a few more instants from the “PA again Twenty-ten” [That’s Babz’ nickname for it] Gathering:

Fire twirlers around the main meadow after dark on The Fourth.

A big area that was laid with flat rocks so the huge drum circle could dance and pound without tromping the earth – and wow did that project the sound of the drums.

Children wading gleefully in the gentle creeks.

The “Green Man” theater at Granola Funk – tho it looked more like a huge Green Dragon to most of us. Fiddle and Cello and Mime and Rounds and more acts than you can list.

Diamond Dave, mayor of Haight Street, hosting the 12th annual spoken word at PopKorner.

Tipis scattered in the shade, not baking out in the sun in a circle.

PA State Police on horseback taking pictures with family and the kids petting the horses – in and out of the Gathering without incident.

The Lovin’ Ovens, ahh the ovens, excellent as ever, feeding rolls to the main circle in uncountable numbers and making Danish and Pizzas till the wee hours o’ the morning.

A small council (probably heartsong) going on in the center of Main Meadow on the Fifth and the Sixth.

Mimes, jugglers, troubadors, costumes, banners, flags, pennywhistles, & stars at night.

The geography of the site was pretty complicated to figure out. They said that there was one place where if you started walking in a circle you would eventually come right back to where you started.

I say: The Rainbow isn’t Utopia, but we do have one toe in Utopia.

All love,

Garrick

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