Each year for the past four years, a group of primitive living and Earth focused individuals have gathered together as a community to share skills that keep us rooted in the natural rhythms of nature and to engage in stewardship/caretaking projects as a way of giving back to the land that supports us. The weekend is full of workshops, story telling, trading goods, sharing knowledge, and celebrating life.
Through my work in the outdoor community, I was introduced to the Headwaters Gathering in autumn of 2010 and attended my first gathering. I have written about that gathering here.
People from all walks of life attend the gathering. From hard-core primitive-living people living in communes, to professional geologists – everyone exists in harmony to celebrate the earth and a sense of community.
The gathering attracts people from around the world. People come from as far away as Minnesota, British Columbia and even Ireland.
Each of these gatherings shares a similar format. People from the community gather at the location, come together in song and friendship, then spend the day taking seminars, workshops, and socialising. Others choose a more solitary visit and spend the day exploring the surroundings of the beautiful Kimbercote Farm.
This gathering was held at Kimbercote farm. An inclusive community and registered charity, Kimbercote is dedicated to practicing and promoting environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and spiritual exploration. When visiting their website http://www.kimbercote.org it becomes apparent that the farm could easily have been a hippy commune during the 1960’s has grown into what it is today.
Headwaters is a community event. The facilitators of the event run primitive living skills, and help organise the event. The gathering is not a party or festival. Community members volunteer their time and host seminars throughout the day on subjects ranging from building and setting animal traps and skinning animal hides, to pet first aid.
During my time at the gathering, I met with some very special friends who I see from time to time at workshops and seminars. I listened to a talk on native plants and which ones can be safely eaten. I also gave a talk on pet first aid around the campfire.
Saturday evening ended with the “trading blanket”. Everyone gathered around the fire and offered items up for trade. Items traded included hand-made greeting cards, hats, staffs, chilli, tomatoes, and other unique items. Many people spend the entire evening around the fire drinking wine, playing musical instruments, and celebrating life.
Sunday was Stewardship day.
After the morning gathering and song, we spent the day helping to clean up and maintain the Kimbercote property. This included removing invasive plants and vines, removing old fences which posed a hazard, and cleaning up rubbish which had blown in over the winter.
Leaving this gathering is always a difficult thing. The sense of community which you feel during the gathering is very difficult to describe. Everyone is friendly, upbeat, and outgoing. Everyone lends a hand anywhere that it’s needed.
Each gathering has its own unique energy and feel. No two are the same. I am really looking forward to attending the next Headwaters in autumn of 2011.
As part of my commitment to the community,
I was able to put together a video outlining the weekend.