Friday, August 19, 2016

Gathering at "the prairie front"

Yesterday South Whidbey Tilth & Slow Food Whidbey Island hosted the 2016 Sustainability Farm-To-Table Potluck "Celebrating Water and the Sturgeon Moon."

The program for the event states, "Water is a mutable element symbolizing unity and collaboration. Water connects us all and is within us all. This party is a collaboration of our community and an opportunity to express gratitude. Please take a dipper and pour water into the bowl--our collective fount"

There was plenty of good food, and speeches of gratitude recognizing the history of South Whibey Tilth's stewardship of the land, and Slow Food Whidbey Island's more recent presence. The evening was a collaboration between these two non-profit groups, a first time partnership.
"We give thanks to all the waters of the world for quenching our thirst, for providing strength and nurturing life for all beings. We know its power in many forms--waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans, snow and ice. We are grateful that the waters are still here and meeting their responsibility to the rest of Creation. Can we agree that water is important to our lives and bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to the Water? Now our minds are one." - The OnandagaThanksgiving Address, an invocation of gratitude
Among the 2016 highlights of South Whidbey Tilth's evolution is the hiring of Angie Hart (pictured above) intern and market and community garden coordinator. Angie is the first intern at South Whidbey Tilth in 13 years said Tilth's President, Prescott.

 The warm late summer afternoon turned into a beautiful time for gathering around tables to chat, and be with this place whose name in First People of this island's language -- Lushootseed -- means "the prairie front." 
Among the many donations for the raffle culminating the potluck were vases filled with Whidbey dahlias grown by Sherrie Wendt. 
That's Pete sitting for a change. He'd filled his bowl more than once, was between doings, and through the lens of my camera I saw him looking out at what makes his many efforts at this prairie front among his personal priorities.

As I reflect upon the events, and interactions I experienced last evening it is with a blurr that pieces of my memory remind me ... "Leave room, in fact, give attention to the borders of this human experience." In the border time I pin together the experience at the prairie front with a podcast entitled "And still the waters rise: Take the red pill or go home: Holistic & Indigenous ways of knowing with Dr. Manulani Meyer."

Among the ideas I heard Manu acknowledge with gratitude is the power and mentoring quality that comes from the names of place. Within the ancient names are the power. I take the reminder to heart, and end with this close.

Mahalo piha 'The prairie front'
Thank you so much, this land of the prairie front.
Amama. Ua noa.
Now the prayer is lifted.

Hover over the photo of Angie Hart and read another invocation of gratitude from the Onandaga.

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