Musings from a nature lover, mad scientist, and brownish thumbed farmer.

Millenial Mill

Mill of my heart,

the heart of our community

lasting still through so many years,

through flood and drought, war, and neglect.

People passing by,

traveling to and from the crossroads.

Wagon loads of hungry farmers

have arrived and returned over and over,

and packs of pleasure seekers

have fished and swam in the tranquil pond

and picnicked in the encircling forest.

Water wheel creaks, gushes of water flow,

and motive power is restored once more.

Axles turning, gears in mesh,

twisted belts flying,

grain rises and falls through elevators,

and is conveyed through hopper and shoe

into the eye of the grinding stones,

ever watched by the vigilant miller.

With dusty steps and worn thresholds,

furrowed boards and fatigued metal,

you have endured

and witnessed life over the millennia,

well embracing town in country.

Mill of my heart,

the heart of our community

lasting still through so many years.

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Getting artsy!

I have a Kickstarter project underway to build support for my arts festival booth and photographic exhibition and sales set up. I’d be ever so grateful if you’d check it out and considering pledging your support!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/89801887/natural-colors-arts-festival-booth-and-photo-sales

I’m excited to report that I’ve started my own arts and photographic sales business called “Natural Colors Workshops” (http://www.natural-colors.org/) and I’ve been loading some of my photos onto SmugMug (www.naturalcolorsworkshops.smugmug.com).  I even have my own Tax ID number for this new enterprise of mine!

Plus, I’m a juried-in, featured artist for the Town of Fuquay-Varina’s June 7th Celebrations of the Arts!  http://www.fuquay-varinadowntown.com/events/celebration-of-the-arts.html. Please visit me there and stay a while to view my photographic works!

 

I'm hard at work getting ready for the June event!

I’m hard at work getting ready for the June event!

The image shown above are some of the trappings for my booth, with colorful pennant flags and a hand-painted canvas banner that I’m just getting started on. I have three strands of pennant flags with the colors going one way and three more going the other way – so both sides of the tent (which I bought last night – it’s spring green!) can transition back in the same colors. There’s a seventh short strand to put around a desk and a few extra pennant flags I’ll sew to the bottom of my booth banner.  

 

A well woven life

A well woven life

For absolutely every program or event I’m involved with in, I inadvertently do the same thing which is to endlessly run around finding everything I can possibly think of that could remotely have a use for my current project, such as the June Arts Festival booth display for which I’ve been gathering this wonderful collection of baskets.

 

Branding by Banner

Branding by Banner

Here’s a mock up for my Natural Colors Workshops arts festival booth banner (to be hung in the back of the tent where the pennant flags would come together on either side).  The banner is just a mock up with paper letters for now – eventually I’ll paint them on with black outlines to make them pop more.  I like the black trim on it (although I will have to buy more as there’s not enough in-house) but the jury is still out regarding adding the pennant flags to the bottom.

 

Event booth

Pulling together my festival booth sales kit was even more fun than getting school supplies when I was a kid!  But oh how I liked picking out a Trapper Keeper and adding in a pencil zipper sleeve.  This kit includes:

  • A Large Ball of Twine
  • A Roll of Paper Towels
  • Sharpie Markers
  • A Ruler
  • A Spiral Bound Notepad
  • A Small Notepad
  • A Blank Journal
  • Post-it Notes
  • A Calculator
  • A Mechanical Pencil with Refills
  • Sparkly Smiley Face Stickers (a must have!)
  • Masking Tape
  • Transparent Duct Tape
  • Scotch Tape
  • A Pair of Scissors
  • Super Glue
  • A Box Cutter
  • Wax Crayons
  • A Drink Coaster (to absorb moisture)
  • A Tampon (for women only I suppose)
  • A Stapler with Staple Refills
  • An eraser
  • Paper Clips
  • A Gluestick
  • SPF 55 Sunscreen
  • Flexible Waterproof Bandaids
  • Bug Spray (go bontanical!)
  • Breath Mints
  • Cash Box (with key!)
  • Cash – Paper and Coin
  • Small Receipt Book
  • Black Pen
  • Blank Price Tags
  • A Binder Clip
  • Safety Pins
  • Soon…the Square Card Reader to go with my Droid, with its extra charging kit

 

WHAT ELSE SHOULD BE INCLUDED?  WHAT WILL I REGRET NOT HAVING WITH ME?

(Other than drinking water and my wallet, plus my merchandise and booth display items…)

The ‘Citie of Oaks’ where the nuts might fall down

on their way home from the tavern on the edge of the town,

or slip on an acorn dropped from a tall tree.

A hungry squirrel might stand by not at all being bothered by thee.

There’s business to be done and deals to be had,

and people in the streets pass by fashionably clad.

Fine food and the arts are easily found

in and about several districts downtown.

The old mill and museums are a must, and so are the shops;

there’s even active studios and artists’ workshops.

Government buildings encompass the original town square

and many neat neighborhoods grew up around there.

Five Points, Glenwood South, Mordecai and Moore Square,

plus there’s Oakwood, Boylan Heights and others beyond there.

Named for an Englishman who never set foot in the city,

although the unknown fate of his lost colony was certainly a pity.

A capital square at the center of all;

so much fun to experience – y’all will have a real ball!

Fall littered all around,

crisp, cold and nearly lifeless yet flush with autumn colors.

Serenaded from those on wing,

who flutter by and witness the fallen glory

that now carpets the ground and crunches underfoot.

Changing landscapes,

the seasons march on and affect all,

chilling the bones and frosting the veins.

Browning the earth,

the cycle continues even as the world stills

and rests yet a while.

The hour was late and time had slipped away,

irretrievable and irreparably lost.

Many thought life had passed them by, and abandoned hope.

Dejection set in and they faltered,

frozen and unable to move or be moved.

They did not reach out so they could not find what was there all along –

the stable earth, the moving skies, the seasons in their changing glory,

the world abounding.

Clock work could have been a joy

but instead it seemed a death knell, imprisoned as they were in doubt and dread.

Shut off from joy,

they seemed stuck in a thin shell of what they could have been.

Would they awaken with the new dawn,

or remain in shadow and be entombed in dark?

The choice was theirs

but they seemed unable to sense what awaited their awareness and delight.

How to awaken the sleepers?

A kind word, a helpful hint, an encouraging gesture perhaps,

and a siren bird song.

These should help them to move them to walk once more

and to embrace a new day, full of thriving potential.

There is yet time for us to live in a wondrous way.

Seeking the mysteries of the ages
unsure of where to look
but clear in my desire to search and to see,
I step into the mists
and am embraced by humbling solitude.
With nature all around me,
the primordial soup
simmering with light, fire, earth and air,
motive power propels me forward
and back in time to find the ancients, the giants,
my elders, my teachers.
My feet grounded and my fingers reaching for the sky,
I imagine my flight
but feel my gravity, my weight, my humanity.
Elusive, enticing magic everywhere.
It’s hard to find, tough to believe in and denied by most.
How can I raise my spirit and not fall to earth?
A seed change really,
a small sprout to grow tall and connect earth to sky.
Perhaps it can show the way
and illuminate my days.
A small thing can resonate greatness and power,
and its voice can travel far.
A wavelength of being, supporting life
and building faith.

Transient,

drifting nowhere in no direction,

ungrounded in a featureless landscape and closed to all of its mystical gestures.

Lonely while embraced, and supported by all of life.

Death not far, looming ever closer – causing fitful starts and awkward stops.

Marcher,

trying to find his own way,

lost in despair and weighed down with the world.

Could be held up if atuned, but blindness prevails and the silence is deafening.

Reaching for more but finding nothing –

you don’t know how to see and thus stay dark.

Wanderer,

searching for a sacred spot, a way of being, a place to belong.

Wishing for clarity but stuck in fog.

Can you not hear?

Open your eyes and let in the light.

Belong and be blessed.

Fear is not needed here – just love and care-taking.

Take heed and make haste!

Do not waste the gift that’s freely given.