Ommigoddess! We asked for half a dozen intrepid neighbors to actually show up at 6:30 AM on the dot to move into a short meditation for the 6:51 AM Summer Solstice followed by a breakfast potluck — and more than twice that many showed up — all on time, and bearing food!
Not just neighbors, but a few long-time friends of the GANG from afar. These included Sydney, who had participated in some of the original permaculture workshops that kicked off the GANG garden initiative back in 2009 and rode her bike over here this early morning under the newly constructed underpass with fruit perilously perched; and Mark, who used to work and play here with us on a regular basis, and who I’ve seen only once in three years! (Mark now writes a wonderful new blog, terrapleuroma).
Others included four IU students, including Rebekka, from up on the corner of 7th, who has initiated the “Uncanny Project” to help us get some kind of a neighborhood return for all the beer cans consumed in the Green Acres Neighborhood, and who walked over with hot coffee and cream; Georgia, my long-term compatriot in neighborhood initiatives, who walked over from 4th street carrying a heavy load — her “5-star” egg casserole made topped with brie cheese for which she woke up very early this morning to cook in the oven before coming; David and Linda with their cantalope, neighbors from about a two blocks away on 7th street who have never before entered the GANG garden; Michaele, who helps me with computer issues, and who catered until 1:30 A.M. and still managed to get here fifteen minutes early with two hard boiled eggs and fruit. She sat with me and Ted, an overnight visitor from the Oakwood Retreat Center, three hours NE of here, near Selma, in my kitchen, until I whisked the three of us down the steps and into the garden armed with extra chairs, a table cloth, candle, and the promised gluten-free muffins and donuts; Jelene, a neighbor from Eastgate Lane who hosted the Plant Share for years, and has just now retired from a long career at IU; Colin and Jocelyn from across the street who actually brought handmade scones; and nearest neighbor Rebecca (who never gets up early) and me (who always does).
(Oooo! As I write this, Rebecca just stopped by, tells me we have another intern, very enthusastic, who wants to work hard. YES! Says she’s putting him on the water catchment project.)
We began by lighting a candle and standing in a circle, as I talked briefly, as an astrologer, about the astronomy and significance of Summer Solstice, the moment when the Sun offers it’s peak fiery self to the Northern Hemisphere on Earth, powering all of Nature into abundance. As I spoke, the pond frogs croaked, birds twittered, leaves rustled, fish rippled the water, insects darted, and we humans stood in wonder.
I then turned over the meditation to Ted, an experienced ceremonialist, who asked us to all turn and face the extraorddinary abundance offered by the GANG garden, and truly listen, pay attention, to how she is creating something truly wondrous in our little corner of the world, utilizing water, earth, fire and air to infuse and cleanse and the enliven the atmosphere. And it’s true, the energy in the GANG garden is palpable to anyone who walks in. Positively pumping, thrumming. And it’s as if the deep-throated frogs are rhythmically keeping a count; during the entire fifteen minutes or so that we were engaged in meditation, they seemed to roar more full-throated into chorus than ever before, and I swear, some of their harrumps were in call-and-response to birds’ calls.
During part of this time we had turned to sit in a silent circle, the dogs among us as quiet as the humans, listening, listening, aware and awake at the dawn of this tip-over day to the miracle of ever regenerating creation. So grateful!
Then we broke our silence to thoroughly enjoy conversation and an early repast way beyond what I had hoped for. Truly a magical time. Thank you, thank you!
P.S. I heard later today that just about everybody went back to bed when they got home.