[gallery ids="812,811,813,814"] Guests at our first Taproot Gathering began arriving Wednesday afternoon and checked in with the helpful folks from Squam Art Workshops who are co-hosting the event. After picking up the obligatory tote bag, choosing one of three generously donated books from Roost Books and a Taproot mason jar equipped for travel with a Cuppow lid, they headed out to the porch to get to know one another and wait for the tasty hors d'oeuvres that kicked off the event. After supper, we all headed over to the Playhouse where Elizabeth Duvivier of Squam formally opened the Gathering and introduced the teachers. A sudden downpour extended the proceedings in a happy way as Stephanine Pearl-McPhee entertained the crowd with humorous stories until the worst of the rain had passed. [gallery ids="817,818,826,823,822,834,830,831,824,815,819,820,821,828,827,833,835,832"] I was gladdened to see the variety of crafts that participants were creating (people can share works-in-progress and finished works on a table in the dining hall). From wooden spoons and birch bark containers to three dimensional creatures to plant-dyeing, canning, herbal preparations and much more; it seems to me that everyone is developing new skills and techniques. We closed out the day with a talk by contributor Ben Hewitt. Even as he inspired us and made us laugh, weaving together the threads of putting up hay for the winter, child-rearing, community and our place in the web of life, he nourished us with practical ways to become more connected to each other, to the earth and to our true selves. gathering-abs-6Personally, I ended the day reflecting on the enthusiasm, intention and energy people are bringing to this Gathering. I want for us to do more of this, to have the opportunity to bring the pages of Taproot to life in more places and make it doable (financially, with family, with less time commitment) for more people, even as I know that there is something magical about this particular kind of experience. -jason
September 13, 2013 by 1

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