Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lovin' Our Neighbors - and friends

Well, it's the day after our 3rd annual Stop Sign Farm picnic and we are generally engaged in our usual post-picnic activities - napping, gazing out at the farm, putzing, all in all feeling truly blessed.

Right now, I'm watching chickens.  While obvious, it should still be stated that chickens are completely different from sheep.  Both herd, or flock - at least group - animals, I'd assumed they'd share a fair number of characteristics, but this is in fact not the case.

Most importantly, from a farmer's point of view, their relationship to humans is completely different.  With the exception of seeing us as appendages bearing hay or grain, sheep are completely indifferent to the people in their lives, generally.

Chickens, on the other hand, are indeed interested in whatever delectables you might next delight them with, but I honestly believe they are also just downright curious as well.

The hens all but vanished most of yesterday as the crowds (maybe 150 people?!) swelled, but today they are eager to reconnect and by the way hoover up any wayward crumbs that might still be lurking about.

But yesterday was really about the people we know and love and the people we don't really know, but pretty much care about anyway.  Living on Vashon is important to us because it embodies and actuates many of the ideals we care about.  And our picnic is the one time each year when all those things come together.  We say "we love you" to our neighbors, and invite our dear friends in to too.  We try to create an afternoon and evening that says "yes" to just about everyone in our lives - yes, we love being a part of this neighborhood; yes, we are so deeply grateful for our friends, no matter where they live; yes, we know that living on an island of abundance, where compassion and sharing and care are rampant, is nothing short of miraculous; yes, it is our deep, deep responsibility and utmost joy to do this small thing to bring all this together and celebrate life across these groups of beloved people.

Throw a picnic, host a potluck, go door-to-door with muffins.  Knowing the people around you is the most important act of rebellion and love you can muster.