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Welcome to Quarry Hill's Blog!

Quarry Hill Creative Center in Rochester, VT, founded 1946 by Barbara and Irving Fiske, is Vermont's oldest alternative community and at one time was probably also its largest. In the 60s -80s, as many as 90 people lived here.
It was and is visited each year, often in summer (but in every season, really) by visitors from all over the world.
We welcome interesting and creative people who are peaceful, bring no weapons, don't believe in hitting children or killing animals, and enjoy the beauty of Vermont and of themselves.

Most of us do not adhere to any particular dogma or religion, though many do find Eastern philosophy closest to our own thought (some of us are also members of the Quakers/Society of Friends).
We value the individual, particularly people who are energetic and have a sense of humor.
Visitors are welcome-- and prospective residents, too. There are some places for rent, others for sale. If interested, get in touch!
And, please follow the Blog and comment whenever you like!

"The symbol is the enemy of the reality, and the reality is ever one's true guide, true friend, true companion, and true self." Irving Fiske, 1908-1990

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016. Random and possibly inaccurate thoughts about spring.

From Spring a year ago.

It's a beautiful spring at Quarry Hill. Mud season has gone by, and bug season has arrived, but it doesn't matter (though it's surely better to go out early in the day, and to wear some bug repellent). Spring is my favorite time of the year in Vermont, though the glories of Autumn are inimitable (but followed by long cold winter)
 I love the curve of a flowering apple tree with pink and white blossoms, expecting to see little angel girls looking through the branches as in the old print that hung on the wall of the bedroom in the old Farmhouse here when I was a kid.

Many daffodils didn't make it this year, as we had a late frost. But the late fragrant ones did come and one can catch a whiff of the multiple white blossoms with yellow hearts when walking up the steps to my house. June lilies, or the poetica narcissus (Poet's narcissus), are beginning to bloom with their scent which goes right to the heart of memory.   Coming home from our travels for the winter--sometimes late, sometimes too early-- the Poetica narcissus would often be the flower that greeted us, or that I remember most clearly, on our return. Did it bloom earlier then? No question that the atmosphere is much hotter and it's more difficult to stay outside longer. Some say the maple trees will be gone in 75 years or less due to global warming. I hope not,  and am relieved that I won't be here (in this body, anyway) to see that...

No season says NOW as clearly as Spring, now now now, here and now, boys (and girls). Daffodils and hyacinth give way to roses and clematis, and then to daylilies, which Robert E. Lee is said to have remarked upon as the "sign of the neglected gardens of the future." One doesn't think of Gen. Lee as having been a gardening sort of person.... certainly he didn't plant things himself...but he owned a plantation, which had belonged to George Washington's family, I think (his wife, Mary Custis Lee, was the granddaughter of Martha Washington).  Do daylilies bloom in Virginia? I suppose so. My garden is full of glorious daylilies ... and the garden is hardly neglected.

I haven't written much for this blog for a long time. Not even sure I noted the bursts of publicity that arose following Barbara's death on April 28, 2014. There's an interesting thing about Spring... for Quarry Hill. It happened that April 10, 1946 was the day Barbara and Irv bought the land, Lyra, my cousin, also was born that day, Irving died April 25, 1990, and Barb died three days later but many years after him. Andrew was born in May... Springtime is a special time at Quarry Hill. Everyone creeps out of their caves, physical or psychological, and delight in planting little organic vegetable patches. We've never been an agrarian group, but now Ben Falk, our next door neighbor at Magi-La, is doing that sort of thing with Permaculture.
Spring peepers seem to mostly have gone by now, but the nights are peaceful and full of dark fertile noises of mating creatures in the wooded hills. The pond is full of salamanders and frog eggs (I actually need to look to make sure there are eggs there-- frogs are dying off around the world, I hear).
The moon and Mars were in conjunction (appeared to be together) in Sagittarius a few days ago. The degree was "The ocean covered with whitecaps." The Sun had moved on from flowery Taurus to busy Gemini, "Santa Claus filling stockings furtively."  The Sabian Symbols (images chosen at random by Elsie Wheeler, who was said to be psychic, in about 1925, with the guidance of Mark Edmund Jones). These have always been popular here, though no one here takes Astrology completely seriously!
It's an art, a language, but not a science or a religion. IN any case, the Moon/Mars conjunction was lovely-- Mars "full," like the Moon, so we could see it all. What a great joy...

The best thing about spring is that the kids come out and play in the Knoll tree as many have before them, in the present tree or the one before it, and race up and down the hills and dabble in the pond... play on the swings... and do all the things I did, with my brother and my cousins and my nearby friends, a long time ago.

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