Family, Community, and a Hundred Generations From Now…

We were born into a family.  Our parents’ blood runs through our veins, as their parents’ and grandparents’ did before them. We feel some connection to our name, to the place where we were born, where we were raised.  But, as we become older, as friends from our childhood fade into distant memories, as the nuclear family fragments and brothers and sisters move on to raise their own families, we begin to realize the social fabric of our culture is frayed.  It’s often held together by illusion and dreams of the past, and we find ourselves isolated.  Our immediate family suffices, but we yearn for deeper roots—roots that feed us today: roots that offer us some sense of stability.

Twenty three years ago, I stood on the outskirts of London hitchhiking.  Me and my traveling buddies were picked up by a couple from the Peak District in Derbyshire.  And from that chance encounter, my family structure expanded.  They asked us into their home.  They fed us.  They showed us Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, the Crooked Spire, the Nine Ladies. We drank pints at Ye Olde Trip and ate Bakewell Tarts with them.  We walked over their beautiful country and trolled across the moors in Burnley.  We smelled the burning of coal from their fireplace at night and drank a thousand cups of tea each day.

Since that time, my family has traveled with them and their children all over.  The first of only two overseas trips my parents ever made was to visit the Richmonds.  When my sons, Andrei and Evaughn, came into our lives, Matlock, England was the first overseas trip they made to visit their other family.  The Richmonds came at the opening of Sherwood and brought a Proclamation from the Sheriff of Nottingham to read on opening day.  During August, we spent two magical weeks with them.  And when I was leaving, reflecting on the two weeks, I thought about how three generations of the Richmonds and three generations of the Todds were integrally linked, emotionally and spiritually melded.  And I pondered back on the meaning of family and wondered how many generations of Richmonds and Todds would travel and share their lives together.  I think a hundred, maybe more…

But this is only a example, I think, of what we are creating at Sherwood.

How many generations of O’Leary-Applings and Todds will walk the grounds of Sherwood? How many generations of our whole extended tribe will be born and create a vibrant and thriving community around Sherwood?  How many of your children’s children will dance within the circle of the Seven Sisters or toast the day under the roof of Ye Olde Trip?  How many clans will survive and spread? How many children will be born into our self-defined family of Sherwood?

We love the journey.  We are thankful for each of you finding your way to this place.  We hope you will see yourselves as part of our tribe and desire to raise your kids and grandkids in the traditions of this community.  We call it a family faire—not because we candy coat it like Disney, but because we actually believe in this community.  We want to nurture what is being created in these woods.  We want you to add your flair, your wonderment, your art and beauty to this tremendous experiment of soul.

Blessings to you all.  Join us at our Gatherings and the Celtic Festival in late September.

Likewise, send all positive and healing thoughts to Scarby and their family in their time of loss.  We are connected to all the faire family nationwide.  Let them feel the love and caring of Sherwood.



Category : All Posts & Rengypsy's Blog

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