December 08, 2013

Beating swords into plowshares

Both huge gyms in the local high school were filled with tables and booths. Local craftspeople had set up shelves of pottery, racks of handmade scarves, tables of handmade wooden toys, and jewelry that sparkled under the bright lights. Activists had spread out posters and t-shirts and bumper stickers. There were petitions to sign, letters to write, and pamphlets filled with information.

One corner of the gym was set aside for musical events. When I arrived a troupe of belly dancers in colorful costumes were spinning and jingling to Middle Eastern music. They were followed by a community choir who sang, “Solar Power Inexpensive Energy” to the tune of “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.” In the first gym, a group of volunteers cooked up all kinds of delicious soups, burritos, and sandwiches. After coming in from the cold, I couldn’t resist the vegan chili, which was steaming hot and delicious.

I usually hate shopping of all types, but at the annual Plowshares Craftsfair and Peace Festival, I get to talk to the people who made the beautiful things they are selling. Besides, it’s more of a social event than a craftsfair. I’d just walked in when I got hugs from Mystic Woman and Healing Plumber Guy, who were shopping for gifts for the grandchildren. I made my way over to the booth where my friend Quilt Artist was selling her beautiful hanging quilts. I ate lunch with Nurse Friend, just one table over from some of my Two Row Wampum friends. I saw a friend from my environmental activist days, three colleagues from Little Green, two women who have come with me on monastery retreats, my friend Makes Bread, and a bunch of folks from the Peace Council, which is the group who sponsors the event.

I signed several petitions, bought some lovely handmade gifts, sat with friends to listen to music, got into long conversations everywhere, and hugged pretty much anyone who called out my name. It was wonderful on a wintry December day to spend an afternoon in the company of folks who care about peace, who work for justice, and who value lovely locally made work.


Diane said...

That sound absolutely wonderful

readersguide said...


Lomagirl said...

How fun! We are doing that on a smaller scale this weekend. (Got snowed out last weekend!)