Another year passes at this turning of the seasons and with it comes another beautiful Common Ground Country Fair, and another successful Taproot weekend within the fair. I was remarking a few times over the course of the weekend about how very reliable and dependable the fair is in its consistency (this being the 40th anniversary and all). This belongs here, that can always be found there, and this is how it goes! It makes the most subtle of changes (where'd my gelato go? And why is there a new voice at the microphone as the fair announcer?), so much more pronounced. In the Taproot Booth, we noticed and greatly missed our regulars, but welcomed some new folk into the fold. We spend so much time together as a crew during the stretch of days there, it's fast and furious way to get to know one another, or to connect in a different way on a 30 year old friendship. There is a lot of hard work in making that tiny little 10x10 booth happen, and the days are long, but we have so much fun. And it's made all the most joyful and rewarding as we meet people all day long who are kind, supportive and encouraging about what we do. I always leave the fair both equally inspired and encouraged...and exhausted. Huge thanks to the crew (pictured and not) who made this weekend a much easier one on me than ever before.
Easier enough that I planned on spending most of Sunday away from the booth, with the arrival of my family for their day at the fair. But not a half an hour after their early morning arrival, Steve and I found ourselves standing alone in the middle of the 20,000 or so other people attending that day! Each of the kids scattered off in different directions, with friends or older siblings, and were happily and independently enjoying their time at the fair (and spending every penny of their allowance on treats and treasures). A little lost - Steve and I have never been to the fair alone! - we puzzled over what to do. The first thing we each thought about was finding a quiet spot to take a nap. Ha! But instead we walked and talked and shopped for axes. So romantic. Or at least, so lovely in the time together before we joined up with at least the little ones for much of the rest of the day.
It's a beautiful thing, this wonderful marker of time that we have within the fair. It is a constant in our lives, and yet within that come some subtle changes and shifts that represent and reflect the shifts and changes in our day to day lives and growing families. And as a marker of the near-end of harvest season, it always provides us with an opportunity to pause in gratitude for it all.
Until next year, Common Ground Country Fair!