I have recently had such an amazing experience on this, my MooseBoots journey. I consider myself so fortunate to have had the experience and would love to consider this as a part of my future career path, while concurrently following a path to personal fulfillment. Perhaps, they need not be separate paths, but one complete, holistic approach to living a meaningful life.
Months ago, Wendy was invited to attend, and speak at, the recent Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, Pennsylvania. After she submitted her workshop topic (literally, 5 minutes after), she received an e-mail asking if she had an additional topic to present. She and I like to bounce things off of each other. So, we chatted for a few brief minutes and came up with an idea of presenting a workshop on Ecological Awareness (more on that later, perhaps another post). And so, she and I were slated to give a workshop together, in addition to the one she would give twice the same weekend. Giving the talk was simply incredible and will take more than just a passing moment or two to describe. I will post the presentation in some form here over the next few weeks.
After our workshop was done for the first day, we wandered through the rest of the fair. We were delighted to be able to speak with some of the other people there. For instance, we met Craig Russell, President of the Society For The Preservation of Poultry Antiquities, who is a well spoken, older gentleman. He spoke with us, at length, about a number of things. We spoke about chickens, articles he has published, and tapping nut trees, like black walnut. His depth of knowledge was simply incredible. I told him that I wished he lived closer to us. He is on old-timer who has a vast amount of know-how to share, but no one to share it with.
The highlight event, as far as this post is concerned, was that evening when we gathered with the other New Society Publishers authors. There, we met John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist. As we spoke with them, we realized that they too homeschool their son, have no television, and are trying to build their skill sets to deal with potential future crises, economic or otherwise. It is inspiring for me, although we are not on the same level as they, that they are able to support themselves by doing these things while they continue to grow. It was amusing to note that none of the authors had televisions. We, the authors, decided that it must be on the questionnaire for New Society Publishers, although the New Society crew, Ingrid and EJ, on hand denied it, in spite of not owning televisions themselves.
The atmosphere, at the fair, was relaxed and happy, with little to no exception. People were open to, and seeking, new ideas. They were there to learn from those "of like mind". We were gathered together in fellowship, communing together, sharing our own stories and experiences. It helps us to build a sense of community, which helps us all to grow beyond our current state of being. We, as a society, have, for the most part, lost any meaning to our lives. Generally, we fill our time with entertaining diversions to sooth our ill-at-ease feelings of being and the meaninglessness of our lives. These types of events can fill us with a sense of purpose and belonging, meaning for our lives. There is something about these types of events that are vital for all of us to live to our fullest potentials. Indigenous cultures, native american or otherwise, understood this and built these cultures around it. It can be seen in their ceremonies, initiations, or in their simple ever-present gratitude for the gifts given them by the Earth.
I have found that I am not alone in these feelings. Some friends from Maine also attended the fair. I have had some discussions with them and heard that they too felt the sense of belonging and community. The fair not only provided meaning and purpose, but a renewed sense of enthusiasm for the path they have chosen to follow.
It is my hope that as I continue down this MooseBoots path, learning, growing, and sharing, that this too might become a more complete part of my life, fusing the secular, work a day life with my more fulfilling spiritual, nature based growth. I would love to give more of these talks and workshops, to share the wisdom I have been fortunate enough to gather. There is both healing and growth for all of us in both the giving and receiving. Gathering together in community provides the framework for both healing and personal growth.