After a month’s hiatus, we came back, and with a vengeance, showing off our new outdoor kitchen! Here it is, ready for our second August community dinner this Thursday, two days hence. Notice the cloth covers — over the dishes and silverware, which we can now leave outside, with folks cleaning their own dishes immediately.
At first, milling around, with everybody waiting for the okay to get in line for dinner. Then, oops! Charisse (Rebecca) called out, did something we’ve never done before but probably everybody present did routinely in their families as kids. She called for us to gather in a circle, hold hands, and would someone please create a blessing for the meal. And this first time, she did it herself, by calling in the four directions.
Well, I was stunned! This welcome interruption of our usual ways, this “take it to the next level” of our regular Community Dinners, I attribute to what Charisse and I had just been through at the Southeastern Permaculture Gathering, where the folks there circled regularly, before each meal. In our circle, neighbor Devin then yelled out, humorously, “Like an ashram?” “Well, yes,” I responded. “But secular.”
So already, our time in the mountains of North Carolina has affected our practice here. YES!
Even before we gathered to hold hands, we had been wondering: Should we eat out here or fill our plates and go inside? It was obvious that some kind of front was approaching. We could hear thunder rolling not too far away. But no one wanted to leave. Then, just as we were breaking for our meal, divine synchronicitiy! A RAINBOW, directly overhead. Geez! As we blessed our meal, so the universe blessed us.
But then, oops! It started to rain. At first gently, and then hard. Quick! Get into the greenhouse!
Some went into the greenhouse, some stood under the outdoor kitchen roof, and some just kept on eating and talking, amidst the deluge, a warm, gentle rain.
Though we kept inviting people inside, nobody wanted to go. We were on the patio for good, and we were loving our new outdoor kitchen, and the enhanced spirit of family camaraderie that our mutual blessings had showered upon us. YES!