Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Chapter Two: Workshop Ends, Thinking Begins

We are lounging around a hotel outside of Barcelona today.  We sent the last of the participants home on Monday morning , spent the afternoon in Veglio cleaning the house, washing sheets and taking the leftover food to Trontano.

After months of planning, the Spring scramble of construction and a week  of 20+ plus people around the table, it is hard to believe it is over.

Best Classroom Ever..Mark in his Element
Our days together were a blur of lectures in the old kitchen, 10 mile hikes, cutting in the fields, dunks in the creek, cooking, cleaning, snoring, laughing and singing.

The first night, hardly anyone slept.  90 degrees, all these strangers tucked in every nook and cranny in the house.  Strange noises, dust falling from the unfinished ceilings in the summer bedrooms, people crawling down two sets of ladders at three in the morning.  Like your first day of school, everything so foreign and dark in the middle of the night.

Tom Belting Out Spanish Songs
But how quickly the uncomfortable newness gave way to the bonding of friendship.  We were concerned about meal preparation and cleaning for such a big crowd.  That fear quickly vanished when we started to make our first lunch together.  People started filtering into the big kitchen while we were prepping to offer their help. 

Like a jazz band, everyone just seemed to pick up the beat and soon enough plates were set, salads were made, cheese was grated, wine poured and before you knew it everyone was laughing around the big table.

The same thing happened with clean-up.  We had to actually encourage people to relax a bit and not race to wash dishes.  Our “master plan” of spending each night making a detailed chore chart quickly went by the way side. 

In the end, our job was to simply make sure our food arrived up the mountain each day to stock the old cantina(cellars) and then to adapt the menu to the fresh veggies that we could pick from the gardens.

Lukas and Beatrice...Homemade Bread
There are so many incredible things that happened, it is really hard to pick out just a few. 

An empassioned candlelight talk from Giolle about his call back to the land, Daniele Testori explaining the dramatic forces of the Alpine geologic forces on our lives, a “surprise” visit from Dick and Kathy from California. 

At first,  both Linda and I kept saying how lucky we were to have such a perfect combination of participants for our first workshop.   But we now replace the word “lucky” with telling people how “blessed”  we have been. 

There are clearly some other powers in motion that are guiding our collective work together.   And not just in Veglio, for each participant came to this place and time to share their dream of something different.  New farms in Tuscany and Spain and the US, new seed research, training sites, clothes designs…to name a few.
Saying Goodbye

It ultimately was this collective hope of something better that caused this special group to make such beautiful music together. 

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