Went to a Transition LakeCo potluck in Middletown yesterday, and the word inspiring is really an understatement.
Even though our county is something like 2x as economically depressed as much of the country and certainly the state, the amount of and more importantly the quality of community events, the direction they are headed, and the warm hearts and generosity that they spring from was a true beautiful thing.
I will try and summarize: I did a rough count and figure there were 60-70 people - 1/3rd or more 1st timers.
First the ‘potluck’ title hardly did justice to the amazing dishes, vegetarian and not, not lots of carbs either! very nice salads galore, some with oranges [my personal fav], some with flowers, some with avo and nuts, and a nice purple cabbage on too! Pasta, Soups, a whole baked chicken, gallon of cider and someone’s spring water… just really lovely all around.
Then there were the mini-presentations:
Nils did a very inspiring job of reminding us the purpose of Transistion is to help our community become more resilient in the face of the 1% financial war being waged against us[big paraphrase, though resilient is his word]. Short, collected and inspiring.
Then he introduced the pastor of the Methodist Church where it was held, and I think everyone was humbled by the serious amount of work the Church does [inspired by this very remarkable open-hearted non non-sense pastor [remindfed me of Bonnie Mae Simpkins in Otherland] a ‘muscular’ Chrisitan. lol They have a day each week for food distribution and something she pointedly did not call a soup kitchen, 3 days a week and were spreading the love out to Clearlake in the North. This is a mid-sized Church in very small town mind you.
She also spoke about Portland’s lack of parks and the spontaneous citizen movement that started creating neighborhood ‘parks around various intersections with street murals and cobb benches, that are now the center of block parties and neighborhood get togethers. A Woman who had lived in Portland till a few years ago confirmed there happy addition to the community and spoke on how the did indeed bring the neighbors close together with food and drink and music and dancing. Plans being made to import this excellent model.
Then came a [sorry I did not get names] a woman who has an Organic/Heirloom Seed lending bank. You ‘check out’ a few grow them and give some back with an account of how well they did and hopefully a next years batch for you and the bank.
www.movetoamend.org had a speaker, who talked about the absolute need to overthrow the evil Citizens United supreme court debacle with a nation-wide ballot initiative that will morph into a constitutional amendment after ground swelling reaches critical political mass. IF YOU HAVE NOT SIGNED THIS PLEASE DO! [yes I raised my evoice to tell you that ;-)]
Then [in no certain order now]:
a nature sanctuary offering to host kids nature walks on their 90 acre, spring-fed, mossy boulders under the old trees land was given a great intro, emphasizing the needs our kids have to balance their digital lives with nature. Oh so crucial!!!
Occupy had a brief mention as did a progressive running against a backward thinking good ol boy in on our County Board of Supes. Victoria Brandon [the new challenger] got the loudest applause of the evening, as the 3-2 good ol’ boy networks help keep this county hamstrung the underdeveloped old 1% control most everything model.
Lake Counties very own Open University was announced with the first ‘college’ a K’ville based ‘Center of Traditional Learning’ offering in depthtraining and even Certification in Tai-Chi, Chi-Gung, Spiritual Psychology and the Gurdjieff relaxation, centering and 3-centered balanced being meditations, along with classes planned for Homeopathy and herbalsim for 1st Aid, Emergencies and Family Medicine for the future. It as emphasized that the open college model is for folks with no money issues, folks willing to barter and those who need full scholarships. With this model, classroms are not needed, parks and community open spaces are used.
Friends of Rattlesnake Island our local native American Pomo tribes ancestral capital inhabited continuously till the 50’s for 5-12,000 years is now being developed by the Nady [of wireless microphone fame] and have managed to dodge [thanks to the good ol’ boy network - again] doing the legally required Environmental/Cultural impact review, and are now being sued by the Friends of R.I. to do what the law requires and see if as everyone not involved in the ‘development’ thinks that every square foot of the island is full of remains, artifacts and the the [hitherto] unmolested cultural heritage of the oldest known tribe in North America. No Kidding. Lisa Kaplan was the speaker.
She also gave a shout out to the grades 1-6 charter school across the street from the church [where both my daughters went for 5 years]. Lake County International Charter School - LCICS].
And one inspired woman who wanted to see all the food serving/poor folks helping distribution groups get a central co-ordination effort going. He told a wonderful story of a group of NoVa woods dwelling hippies who started a food redistribution group in DC, and within 6 weeks it was being run by D.C. locals who completely took over the contacts, pick-ups etc, and ran it all. Presumably letting the hippies return, happy and satisfied to their sylvan pursuits…should asked…;-)
I am sure I am leaving some great folks and their work out but maybe this will share it’s way around lake co and others can fill in the missing details.
And our counties sole Naturopath Steven West offered his radio show slot[mon 5pmon KPFZ 88.1] to host an hour for any of the groups etc, to come on and share in more depth.
In summary if you made it this far all I can say is if you putt off attending these transition potlucks and meetings you should very very seriously re-consider. Big shout out to Nils Palsson for brining not just the transition model and movement to lake county but to selflessly keeping it going till it truly gained a very healthy and unique life of it’s own.
It is not often I feel so glad and even proud to live in LakeCo, but even that is in transition. :-)