On the Road to friends and high places: Part One Close knit friends

So fellow travelers,  last year I wrote about the best pickles in the world. Two weeks ago I had lunch with the creator of those pickles, my friend Kate,  as well as some other friends and fellow members of the Bedlam Farm Creative group. It was a somewhat impromptu meet-up instigated by my desire to enjoy the wonderful food of Scott Carino’s Round House Cafe in Cambridge New York.

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The Round House is perhaps the only place I would consider driving three and a half hours to eat lunch at. Fortunately, I already had plans which meant passing through Cambridge on my way to hear the Battenkill Chorus’ 20th anniversary concert (more on that later.) A casual comment on a chat page created a thread which quickly took on a life of its own.  This is quite common when we “farmies” as we refer to ourselves get together.  Potluck barbecues, photo walks, late night wine parties, guest performances in church choirs, even unexpected ice skating in parking lots have been known to happen. 

Meanwhile it turned out the Washington County Fiber Arts Tour was also happening that same weekend. Who knew?  Jeff Anderson, photo guru and grateful Dad blogger  that’s who and he posted all the info we needed should we want to commune with local alpacas, goats, sheep and their farmers.

It turned out my friend Beth was up for some communing with fiberous mammals so we arranged to meet at the farm nearest her house and try to catch a few of the tour events before lunch. Beth is a really good photographer and a phenomenal food crafter.

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Beths whimsical Pirate Ship Fruit Salad was the hit of our first potluck gathering.

To reach the first farm by 10am-ish I would have to hit the road quite early, which worked out fine as my daughter had the 5:30am opening shift at work so I’d be up anyways. One of the perks of being on the road so early is catching images like this

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and one of  the benefits of traveling solo is having the freedom to pull over and stop whenever  something catches my attention, although it is not always easy to hold focus as tractor trailers roar by at who know what MPH on the NYS Thruway.   There is a shot of the Mohawk River book marked in my GPS that I am bound and determined to get one of these days.

Arriving within minutes of each other at the first farm, Beth and I started meandering about, cameras in hand. I was distracted by a splash of water fowl landing on the farm’s pond, but caught only this one image. I love the texture created by  spring winds blowing on the pond’s surface.

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Meanwhile Beth was making friends in the gentle, quiet way she has of simply being present.

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Being with Beth brings a zen-like joy to each experience.  She is an observer, a listener and her ability to be fully present in a moment is reflected in the images she captures.

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Photo by Beth Heffern which accompanies her poem “Fishing Tales” on the Creative Group page.

We visited a few farms on the tour, taking in the adept skills of spinners at the wheel, watching an expert shearer at work, marveling at the beautiful pieces created by fiber artisans.

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Wonderful moments. Still,  Beth and I had a higher (literally) goal in mind: to reach the exhibit at St Mary’s on-the-hill in Greenwich and still have time for lunch at the Round House in Cambridge.

To be continued……

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow

So fellow travelers, this sudden burst of blooms on my forsythia bush released a wave of memories and feelings which wove themselves into a poem.

 

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A bush breaks free

from Winter’s icy grip

an explosion of yellow

bursting with childhood memories

Joy reclaimed.

 

 

 

A Leap of Faith

So fellow travelers, a friend of mine is getting married today, taking a self described “leap off a ledge” in faith with a phenomenal partner.  I wish them the best of adventures in their years together.

 

Together

From square one to the top of the mountain

You reached this vista together

Pulling each other out of the mire of self denial

At times scouting separate trails

Always to meet again at the crossroads

Building where once anger burned bridges

Taking on treks of discovery in outer and inner worlds

Taming monkeys of the mind and forest

Terrapin movements soothing spirits

Two hearts now joined as One

A daring leap off the Ledge

Into the abyss of Forever

Holding each other

Gliding peacefully under Love’s steady parachute.

For Jennifer and Travis on their wonderful wedding day. May 2, 2015.

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Photo of “Hang Gliders Point” Tinker Falls trail  overlooking Labrador Hollow. Tully, NY

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Morning Prayer

So fellow travelers,  this morning the song birds sang a haiku

 

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Life reaching for Light

Light healing heartache gently

Love is eternal

 

Walk gently on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready

Gifts of Potholders and Poetry

So fellow travelers, listen up:

“We are currently experiencing some heavy turbulence.  The Captain has turned on the seat belt sign.  Please fasten your seat belts and for your comfort and safety we ask that you remain seated for this part of the trip.”

Most of the time, Life does not provide us with a heads up, buckle in announcement.  Turbulence can hit with gut wrenching force.  One day a cherished companion or dear loved one is there, the next they are gone from our lives. One hour there’s a plan in place to manage a situation, maybe even a “b” plan, then a sudden change leaves us scrambling for any plan, a through z, with workable options. One minute your kid drives to work, the next you are grateful that same kid walked away from the fire that destroyed what was your car.

Things can be replaced, lives cannot. This is true.

It is also true some things represent more than a material object.  A handmade pillow, a special bumper sticker,  a GPS which stored favorite birding sites, secret trail heads and go-back-and-get-that-photo-spots. But your kid made it home to collapse in tears while you hugged her and said it will be ok. Because eventually it really will be.

There are no seat belts to secure when the emotional aftermath of life events hit.  We may in fact be standing rather than seated when an angry outburst eviscerates the trust we had in someone close. When fear and grief shake us awake in the darkest hours of the night. When our faith is tested it is easy to believe we are alone.

Until an anonymous friend sends you a one of a kind potholder in the mail,

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The Giving Tree by Maria Wulf

 

or another friend writes a poem which reminds you where truth can be found,

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The desk of poet Tom Atkins

 

or yet another friend kneels in sheep poop to join you on a spontaneous photographic adventure.

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Fellow Shutterbug Farmie Beth Heffern

 

No longer alone, surrounded by friends*

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gathered to have lunch with a guest of honor over 1,400 miles away

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you find yourself breathing joy,

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and remembering no matter how tough the path may be we are on this journey together.

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Walk soft on the path my friends and may adventure find you ready.

 

*Postscript: For more about our “farmie” gathering at the Round House Cafe read Deb German Young’s post on Finding Community