Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Rockin' Birthday

I know summer is drawing to a close by the time my birthday rolls around. Classes begin this coming week, and my leisure time will be further curtailed for a while.

But I'm happy to report that I reached the Big 4-0 in due measure and enjoyed not an onslaught of gifts (thank heavens!) but an outpouring of love and generosity. The Forty Seeds Project, while not making a big splash, did inspire a few people (including My Wonderful Parents and my quilting friend Sari) to make donations to their local food banks, and my creative friend Jen (graphic designer and the person responsible for the public image of Local Roots) has begun a collection of Forty Seeds art pieces available for sale at her Etsy shop, with 40% of the sales going to an organization of her choice. (I'm rather smitten with her garlic!)

Best of all, though, the Renaissance Man gave me a gift I'll remember for a long time: a visit to Raven Rocks.

Raven Rocks as we now know it is a small community of Quakers who came together 30-40 years ago to buy land, to save it from strip mining, and to model alternative forms of energy production and use. The place known as Raven Rocks is within that "preserve": a hidden gorge down among the trees and dramatic rock outcroppings. The RM became familiar with the place last summer, introduced there by friends, and started visiting off and on to help with their various construction projects.

I've been sorely jealous of his trips because every time he came back he had such stories and photos to share! But this time around I had the pleasure of sharing it with him, visiting some of his newfound friends there and exploring the farm.

We also investigated the construction of a new cross-country natural gas pipeline running through their back forty -- as well as the effects from a longwall coal mining project now progressing steadily under the properties. All in all, we discovered some disturbing reminders of what happens when we rely so heavily on fossil-based energy.

We rounded out the long day with a hike into the gorge, where the dense trees and the enormous rock ledges and overhangs gave us the sensation of walking into some place mysterious, magical, and almost completely unknown to the outside world. What a joy!

We returned home very late and very tired, but after such a wonderful day, how could I complain?

So here's to a new year!

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At 8/25/2009 11:09 AM, Blogger Jennifer Hugon said...

What a wonderful birthday! Raven Rocks sounds amazing. :)

At 8/25/2009 11:14 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Yeah, I couldn't have asked for a better day and kinder people to share it with. Thanks, Jen!

At 8/25/2009 12:02 PM, OpenID movinginspirals said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like a wonderful day!

At 8/25/2009 12:41 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thank you, my Spiral Friend! :-)

At 8/25/2009 2:23 PM, Blogger Phoenix said...

Awww...crap. I'm such a bad friend. Happy Birthday! And Raven Rocks looks and sounds marvelous.

At 8/25/2009 2:27 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

No, you're not, Phoenix. :-) But I do want to try and catch you by phone one of these days -- when I have an evening free!

At 8/25/2009 10:07 PM, Anonymous said...

Happy birthday! :)

At 8/26/2009 7:05 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Thanks, Janet!


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