On June 19, we held our first live event since the Pandemic. About a dozen women gathered at HOWL to celebrate summer with a pot luck supper and campfire*. I felt underprepared going in… I hadn’t brought a story or song to share. But as it turns out, we ended up simply “being social” with one another (I left early, so there may have been some stories and songs later). Just being with other women, without the need for masks or social distancing, was quite a novelty for me. We had fun sharing a meal together, then afterward, roasting vegan marshmallows (“Dandies” brand, which two of us brought… I got mine at the Jericho Market). Somehow, as often happens, we had just the right balance of dishes, including mac & cheese, veggie burgers, a big salad, a delicious tofu dish, and an amazing sweet potato and peanut butter soup. Plus challah, gluten-free bread, and garlic oil. We talked and talked. Some took a tour of the gardens, while others (like me) spent some time marveling at the diversity of chickens in the enclosure. Such beautiful plumage! As we enjoyed our supper, a pair of horses grazed nearby. They live nearby and are doing their part to help us maintain our 25 acres of pasture land. Meg, one of our caretakers, was responsible for planting the beautiful gardens, and for keeping the paths and campsites mowed so we can welcome campers. There were three visitors camping that weekend, and two of them joined us for the celebration. It was great to have visitors to our land once again! Though our emergence from the Pandemic is proving to be slow and, at times, tentative, I am observing the wonderful beginnings of a return to life that’s a lot more “normal”. As I start to attend social events, like this one, where people are unmasked, I am finding a quiet joy in seeing facial expressions, and most of all, smiles.
– Michele Grimm
* We had advertised it as a “bonfire”, but realized that “campfire” makes more sense. One year, without meaning to, we had a true bonfire. When we lit the fire to start the ceremony, it was so large we couldn’t hear the person who was speaking, for the sound of the flames. We got it down to a manageable size quickly, but it was a bit unnerving!