Oct 2 - Manzanita, OR

Oct 2 – Manzanita, OR

Manzanita, OR

By mid-afternoon, the sun had broken through the morning grey.  I went with my host and her parents to a harvest festival on a piece of land owned by the Lower Nehalem Community Trust, an organization based around principles of sustainability, conservation, and community.  Under blue skies, I ate free ice cream and desserts, and wandered through the organic garden.

Sustainability, conservation, and community seem to attract good people.  A woman called Vivi stopped me to chat.  She had recognized me from the article written in a local newspaper; I was wearing the same bright green t-shirt (I only have two).  We chatted comfortably and lazily, the way you do on a sunny Sunday.  A man with a pony tail was crushing apples and passing out cider.  I thought he looked like Brad Pitt and told him as much; he told me I had nice eyes; we hugged, in that bro way.  He had been going through heartbreak and told me that, at 39, he had realized that he didn’t know anything about love.  His left arm was tattooed with a pot-pourri of images, mostly water-related: things like fish and waves.  I drank cider mixed with beer and laughed often.

Under the large veranda, an older man with white hair, glasses, and a pot-belly held proudly above a large belt buckle was leading four couples in a square dance.  He stopped and started the record player often as he explained the commands; one couple was comprised of two women, who used the stoppages to remind the others which of the two was dancing as the man.  When the square dancing finished, a woman sang a cappella about her relationship with Gaia, the power that underlies all things.  She wore a green hat and a tied-dye t-shirt.  On the wall behind her were two murals depicting the area; one described blue ocean, white beach, and a rainbow above green hills.  Her voice rang out under the high ceilings.  A sparse crowd watched, sitting on hay bales.

A long piece of laminated paper hung in a corner, titled ”GREETINGS and THANKS to each other as people”:

TO THE EARTH

mother of all

greetings & thanks

to all the waters

WATERFALLS & RAIN

RIVERS & OCEAN

greetings & thanks

to all the

FISH LIFE

GREETINGS & THANKS

the grains and greens

BEANS & BERRIES

as one we send thanks

to FOOD PLANTS

MEDICINE HERBS

of the world

and their keepers

GREETINGS & THANKS

TO ALL ANIMALS

& their teachings

greetings

& thanks

THE TREES

for shelter & shade

fruit & beauty

greetings & thanks

TO ALL BIRDS

large and small

joyful greetings & thanks

and from the four directions

THE FOUR WINDS

thank you for purifying the air

we breath and

giving us strength

GREETINGS

THE THUNDERERS

our grandfathers

in the sky

we hear your voices

GREETINGS & THANKS

and now THE SUN

for the light of a new day

and all the fires of life

GREETINGS & THANKS

to our oldest grandmother

THE MOON

leader of women

all over the world

AND THE STARS

for their mystery

beauty & guidance

GREETINGS & THANKS

TO OUR TEACHERS

from all times

reminding us of how

to live in harmony

GREETINGS & THANKS

AND FOR ALL

the gifts of creation

for all the love

around us

GREETINGS & THANKS

and for that

which is forgotten

WE REMEMBER

WE END OUR WORDS

NOW OUR MINDS

Outside the window, children ran through the corn stalks in the sunshine.