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Brattleboro, Vermont – July 26, 2006
Festival at Brattleboro, Vermont
We gathered early at “The Commons” in downtown Brattleboro and found the brothers and sisters from the Basin Farm Community already busy. A great effort was underway in producing “a taste of the abundant life we have in our communities around the world,” as we put it in our literature. As the poster said, there were “exhibits, demonstrations, music, dances, open forums, discussions, and refreshments.” Best of all, it was “FREE TO ALL!”
Along one side was a complete assortment of desserts, drinks, pizza, and fresh baked bread—all for free. The servers cheerfully served food to all comers, and we especially enjoyed the spelt crust pizzas and the spelt biscotti with the maté/common ground drink. We were very thankful to have Yochanan Bekor from England baking for us and teaching our bakers in New England how to make excellent sourdough bread.
On the far side of the Festival was a series of things for children: using stencils, coloring, a pair of young Alpine goats to pet, and in between the arts were Yowceph Daveed and sons and friends with the fine craft of musical instrument making. Arts and crafts from the heart. In between was the large gazebo in the park where our musicians were carefully amplified to play both Israeli folk dancing and Irish folk music when the dancers needed a break from the hot summer sun.
Local youth and young people came to both dance and speak with us, and many of them later participated in the Open Forum that began after Boaz presented a seminar on the Three Eternal Destinies of Man. Before it began, Miriam started talking with a thoughtful middle-aged black woman. She had been sitting there for a long time reading a book. She was at a really low point in her life, and the words she heard and just our friendship had perked her up. When the seminar (about the holy, the righteous, and the wicked) was over, she wanted to know how you could ever live a holy life in the world with the bills, the groceries, and the rent! Of course, you need a community to face the demands of everyday life and be set apart (holy) for a special purpose.
Later, a younger woman from South Africa joined them. She had a beautiful new baby boy and a sweet daughter.
Surprisingly, the topic that gathered the most interest was “Our Story”—our brief history as a spiritual people presented by Miriam. Interrupted by the rain, we all moved our chairs from outside of the Open Forum tent to around its table, and Miriam kneeled atop a high stool and, quite undaunted, finished her talk.
Yonadab and Naharah, along with their oldest and youngest children, had come from Florida to join the Caravan for its Vermont and New Hampshire legs, a clockwise circle actually beginning in western Massachusetts on Monday the 24th (see the Northampton entry) and Tuesday morning (see the Greenfield/Keene entry). They have been a great help from the moment they got here.
More coming soon!!!