Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Spillway at Shelburne Falls, and what we've been up to.
This is the spillway area at Shelburne Falls. Shelburne and Buckland, just over the bridge, compared to Northampton is pretty quiet and serene. Northampton is more like the bustling center of activity with a thriving downtown. Smith College takes up a major potion of Northampton, but it took us a while to walk onto campus because it's somehow seamless and unobtrusive the way that it fits into the town. Maybe the town grew around it. It's not THAT bustling, being that it's a town of only 30,000 population, but recall that Sheryl and I are fresh from middle of nowhere, AZ. We don't see cars much.
For about two weeks we stayed in a restored colonial home in Northampton, until the rental car needed to be driven back to Sharon about 100 miles (2.5 hr drive) and returned. We'll be heading back to that same colonial, I think it was built in 1884, tomorrow. I really should get some pictures of it. We have some new friends there, so it's a good arrangement, it's also an easy half mile walk to downtown. Our house stay is also the headquarters of Remineralize the Earth, and if you care about sustainable farming, you might want to check that out.
It's funny how you can get different impressions of towns all in the same vicinity. Amherst is a short distance up the road, maybe ten miles. It's all about the colleges, with 30,000 students and only 35,000 total residents. We weren't that wild about the downtown there, and the overall feel was a lot different. Northampton is more mixed and diverse, and it seems to fit about everything that we figured we wanted from a town: it's a lot about art and alternative lifestyle, including alt spirituality (that would be us). It's sort of like an East Coast Santa Cruz (CA) but not exactly. Oddly, Sheryl had had an intuitive hit about Amherst as the place to be, so we have not figured that one out yet because we more immediately took to Northampton.
We've been spending some time with other healer types, having a lot of conversations with Brett Butler and his partner Ramara. We also spent half a day way out in the woods with flower essence practitioner Kathrin Woodlyn Bateman and her partner Joseph Dicenso and their pygmy goats who were leaping about and climbing into our laps while we talked, which was very fun.