4-H Camp & Open Space

Joelle Lyons Everett JLEShelton at aol.com
Sun May 27 15:56:03 PDT 2001


Open Space is indeed a place of abundance, and that may turn out to be the
most important thing we teach.

Alan called today, and we had a long friendly chat.  We both sung the praises
of Asheville and your family, and the pleasure of our visits with you.  I
remember meeting Alan and Carmen in Monterey, but not having a chance for a
real conversation.  I think I have a picture of one or both among my photos.

I'm a little behind on my e-mail--I've been battling the flu bug my son had
when I was there--at least I have not had it for my final semester projects
and finals, as he did.  I did miss my week with the visiting
Siberians--friend Diane from Tacoma, who was taking a day off from school to
teach with me on Monday did the whole program on Monday, then Nancy Skinner,
who arrived home at 11:00 Monday evening from a family wedding on the east
coast, took over the rest of the week.  I've had all the flu stuff everyone
else had in the winter--fever, cough, cold--call me a slow learner!  One
morning I got up with an extreme sore neck and ended up in the emergency
room, but  a couple of days on heavy-duty medication seem to have it on the

Anyway, the more I think about it, the more I think that your 4-H camp is
very important!  I liked Florian's idea about offering the place for budget
committees--what I like is expanding the scope of the project, and the
thought of addressing root causes.

Alan mentioned that about 20,000 children have spent time at the camp.  I was
thinking about the far-reaching implications of what they can learn there.
Biology and ecology, for sure, and those two areas can help to build a
totally new view of economics.  Being there for even a week surely enhances
the ability to see patterns in nature, with great importance for the growing
of artists and craftsman--something North Carolina seems to value more than
most states.  If I were going to work there with legislators, I think I'd
want to talk a lot about shared values.

As I went to sleep last night, Paul was playing a CD he had bought at the
musical-instrument store in Black Mountain, and I was thinking about what I
wanted to write in response to your e-mail.  When I wakened several hours
later, I was in the midst of a bizarre dream that Paul and I were building a
house in the mountains of Carolina.  Given how badly Paul does in the warm,
steamy climate of the southeast, I doubt that this is a prediction of my own
future.  But there were several things in the dream that I think might be for

We were building a house which seemed quite large, at least in comparison to
the small one where we now live.  Most of the outer walls had been built, and
I think there was roof overhead, but inside it was chaos--there were no
interior partitions, and the excavation had not been completed.  In several
areas people were digging out the foundation from the inside, with hand
tools.  Many people were working, some contractors, but many volunteers.  I
did not seem to know hardly anyone, but they seemed to be neighbors.  In
various parts of the house, people were experimenting with various types of
construction, including rammed-earth walls and straw-bale walls.  The front
of the house had a wide entrance and just inside was a huge wall made of
chunks of black basalt.  It was quite wide but did not go clear to the
ceiling.  It looked like a room divider, but with no other interior walls in
place it was hard to see its function.  But it had a huge energetic presence.
 As I awakened, a few people were deciding to go home and fix some food, so
the workers would not have to stop and clean up.

My general feeling about your project at this time is that it is very
important, that it is attracting a lot of support, especially very locally.
I do not know whether or not you will succeed in keeping the camp open or
not, but it feels like an enormous energy resource is building which, if the
camp does not succeed, will easily flow over into some other form with
similar values.  In my dream, some of the methods looked primitive and out of
sequence, but my sense was that those facts will not interfere with something
important happening.

I wish there were some way to convey to "bean-counting" decisionmakers the
huge value of a piece of land that has had the positive energy of so many
people poured into it over the years.  I felt this so much in Japan, where
new temples are built on the sites of old temples and even more ancient
shrines. These sites have an energy that is hard to described in any Western
terms, but the feeling was very tangible.

Love to you and Rhett, and a big "Happy Birthday" to Aidan, who is now
officially four!


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