Here is balm for the worried, excitement for the playful, and hope for all.
At right, our copy of Hey, Beatnik. We read it cover to cover, savored the bright pictures of people working together in the fields, and kept it by our bedside like a holy book. In time we went to live on The Farm. Many of the friendships we formed there have lasted to this day.
I know that your lives are not easy, that you are concerned about the survival of your loves ones. Long ago I read that one of the most important ingredients for survival in difficult times is good relationships. A tribal leader in the moving book Rainbow Moon by Elizabeth Marshall Thomas makes this statement: Give me twenty people and I can get us through the winter. The survival of that little group depended on the efforts and cooperation of all members. Trust is about relationships.
The advice to look to our relationships struck a cord with me. If I were there with you, having breakfast and talking about the day ahead, I would see your face and posture, hear your voice tones, notice your movements. You might look cheerful, and we would smile together and share our excitements about the day ahead. If you looked dispirited I would give you my unhurried attention. I would invite you to tell me your thoughts and encourage you to have a winning day anyway. Or you would encourage me and share your knowledge of how to improve life, on purpose, no matter what.
My book Sweet Potato Suppers, due out before Thanksgiving, will help, especially in the relationships upon which your good survival may depend. Watch for it in the coming weeks, revised and updated since it was first published in 2003: SWEET POTATO SUPPERS: A Yankee Woman Finds Salvation in a Hippie Village. Ebook, audiobook, and softcover.
Ways to go forward:
1) First, tell your story. Write, talk, and publish if you like. Ask me what I know about writing, sharing, and publishing. Watch my progress as I learn the ropes. Your story matters.
2) Second, look at community as normal living. I experienced one that, having changed with the changing years, continues to thrive.
Some of us will solve problems of shrinking resources by sharing housing. We will take in our children or neighbors. We need to know how to live, possibly crowded, in peace and mutual help. We need the arts and crafts of survival, of sustainable living, of growing food, and--that magnet that pulls it all together--the art of relating.
Previous posts. For a joyful look at stone towers found on the trail, for information about raising healthy and happy children, eBook publishing, learning language, laughter, and more, please scroll down or click the article title on the right. I invite you to comment.
Note: The subtitle to Hey, Beatnik is This is the Book about The Farm. Stephen Gaskin and The Farm. (Beatniks were precursors to hippies. Hippie started as a pejorative but was adopted and given honor by The Farm, a community of spiritual hippies.)