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Thursday, October 11, 2007

A Beautiful Day Full of Sunshine and Words and History

A little over a week ago, I traveled to the pretty little town of Sharon Ontario (all on back roads of course, with my highway avoidance thing) to attend the Words Alive Festival. It was the first annual, and judging by the turnout, we'll be there again next year. The weather was perfect, and the setting...was just unbelievable. (I took lots more pictures but Blogger thinks I've spent too much time loading photos today!)


This is the Sharon Temple.


(North side, first side seen from the entrance to the grounds.)


(South side)

It really is an incredible building. I do think these pictures are magnificent, but I want you to imagine being in there. The air was cool, the sunlight spilled in through all those tall windows, and every sound reverberated around those high ceilings and bounced off the wood surfaces. I need to go back there someday for one of their famous musical performances.




It was built in the early 1800s by a group of idealist optimistic pacifists! Well being Mennonite I can relate, sort of. The Children of Peace built their temple, planned to change the world, but were derailed by the late 1800s by disagreements among their ranks. Which in a way is the same sort of explanation as to why there are about fifteen different kinds of Mennonites in North America. Instead of splitting into Conservative Children of Peace, Old Order Children of Peace, Reform Children of Peace and Brethren of Children of Peace, they just...walked away. This gorgeous building was surrounded by grazing cattle by 1917. In the 30s a Historical Society was formed to restore and care for the property. It's a couple acres of history and this is the first time I'd actually been on the grounds, exploring everything and soaking it in.

For more information go to the website!

I attended an author reading in this amazing little house, which was built by an early settler and moved here a few years ago.



I loved this house. I wish I'd gotten a shot of the main room downstairs. The fireplace dominated the room and there were hooks everywhere to hang stuff off of, you know, like your oregano drying, and your laundry. The guest Author and I, and two teenage girls, checked out the whole house and groaned about how much we loved it and that we'd live in it right now.



As long as we could get wireless internet in it. We'd all use candles and lamps but darnit we need our internet. Kinda sad but that's how it is now.

Seriously I loved this house.

And I loved the author too. Gale Zoe Garnett. What an interesting woman. She has been an actor and a musician before throwing herself into writing. I'm reading one of her books right now! VISIBLE AMAZEMENT is proving to be gripping and enjoyable. She started the book I'm reading now because the character popped into her head and demanded her story be told. Wow...do I know how that feels!!

I also attended a workshop by Molly O'Keefe. She spoke to us about the process of getting published and the myths of all the riches earned from writing! I got a copy of one of her books, UNDERCOVER PROTECTOR, and I gobbled it up in two days. I could not put that book down! I'll tell ya, it's not your grandma's romance novel! Molly is enthusiastic and fun, and I appreciated the time she gave me afterwards, answering my many questions!

I spent some time inside the temple too, listening to Barry Dempster on inspiration, and training the Muse. Yes, training the Muse! You really can't sit around waiting for your Muse if you're going to do this writing thing.

Not hard to be inspired in a setting like this...

I stood underneath the stairwell to the second floor, called Jacob's Ladder, to take this picture.


Then I moved over and took a picture from the side. Apparently, musicians in the old days used to lug their brass instruments up the ladder!




Looking up from the centre. Just wow.

Yes it's easy to be inspired here, and I was, and I still am almost two weeks later! The trick is to take it home with you. Every day. Even when you don't feel like it. That's what I've been doing for the last year...along with training for that riding lesson gig I'm aiming for. Sometimes my goals seem so far off and so sketchy. But it's all there.

I'm going to live on 50 acres in the future, and I'm going to look out my window at my horses while I'm sorting out words in my head, with my fingers on the keys. I'm going to build a cabin in the bush.




I'm already thinking forward to next year's Words Alive Festival.

25 comments:

Biddie said...

I have to show these photos to Shawn. Unbelievable! I could do the candle light thing, for sure, but my TV would still work, right?

mdmnm said...

I think Cowboy Junkies recorded "Caution Horses" in the Sharon Temple back in the late 80's/early 90s.

coffeypot said...

Beautiful scenes! I love the old homes and barns, too. The people back then were a much tougher breed than us chillens (for you Yankees, that is Southern for children – meaning us) today. I hope you really benefited from your experience and rejuvenated your bones.

Anita said...

Thats it!! That little red house is my dream house... :)
Sounds like a wonderful day, and I love all your pictures!!

Therese said...

Oh wow, amazing, fabulous place! Excellent fo-tos too. :)

You are oozing talent and taste!

Hey, I want a log cabin like that on my land some day, when I have land some day...

Redneck Nerdboy! said...

That's it.

I'm moving to Canada.

Heidi the Hick said...

Biddie he would LOVE that place. I think we'll have to get Bucky the Nerd working on a TV that runs on solar panels for ya.

Mdmnm, I think it's interesting that you're from the Sowth and you know this little bit of info... and I live not too darn far away from it in comparison, and I'm racking my brain to figure out if I knew that or not!

Coffeypot, yup, it was a very good experience to go there! I was so happy with how the pictures turned out. You just can't take a bad picture of that place!

Anita...believe it or not I thought of you! If Blogger had let me, I'd have posted a few more pictures inside the little old house. Maybe next week. You'll love it!

Therese, oozing talent and taste! Whoohoo! Yeah, okay, that's me! And yeah, I think I'd be very productive in a log cabin, with a pen and a notebook!

Jas- you gotta at least come up and check it out, even if you don't move to Canada!

Olly said...

Beautiful. I don't know about those stairs, though. Could just picture me coming down, somersaulting with my dress over my head. Don't laugh...

Heidi the Hick said...

oops. I just did.

Biddie said...

Shawn loved it, too!

dilling said...

gorgeous...that staircase is amazing...

LadyBronco said...

OOOOOH I LOVE the arches!

Classic, clean lines in architecture like that get me every time.

What a freakin' cool building.

her indoors said...

wow beautiful just beautiful, and lol biddie!

Lynn Sinclair said...

Sounds worthy--I'll have to get there next year.

rain said...

I love the temple. Just like a wedding cake. I love posts that take me places.

LeRoy Dissing said...

I wonder where the out house is and the well where running water is carrying a pail full of water to and from the well to the house - running of course. The "good ole days" were good in some ways and not so good in others. We are probably spoiled by all the modern conveniences we have but it does sound tempting to step back into a simplier and quieter time. Lovely pics Heidi!

Heidi the Hick said...

Dilling, did you get a sense of how steep and narrow it is? I kinda wanted to climb it...but kinda not!

Lady B- I know, there's nothing fussy or gaudy about it.

Indoors- I don't think it's possible to take a bad picture of that building!

Lynn, yes, we should go!!!

Rain, good comparison!

LeRoy, I'm glad you brought that up, because I did take a photo of the outhouse but Blogger disagreed with my intention to post it! It's a round outhouse. It's the cutest outhouse I've ever seen. You can't quite see it in the photo of the front of the house. The well is behind the house too, although that's not the house's original location.

I didn't get a picture of the larder either. Because the main room held the huge fireplace, that was sort of the kitchen. There was a pantry (which blogger didn't want to see) and a very dark little room off to the back with what I assume was the dry sink.

Yeah, as romantic as it all looks, it was a lot more work to get through the day. I LOVE hot running water! If I had to choose between that and electricity I'd pick hot water every time.

People had time to boil water back then because they didn't write and read blogs!!!!!

Anita said...

lol... you are starting to know me too well, Heidi... that's scary...lol I can't wait to see the other pictures!

Heidi the Hick said...

It's okay I'm not creepy in real life!

dilling said...

Yeah...I like it....at least going up...I might have an issue with the coming down.

Heidi the Hick said...

Just go down the steps backwards!

with your eyes closed!

Anita said...

BTW - I just went to the John Deere link on your sidebar, and about 2/3 of everyone on my Christmas list can be taken care of right there on that sight! I love it!! I think I'll steal the link for my blog, too! :)

Heidi the Hick said...

I know! It's awesome! Link away, I'm sure they won't mind!

Anita said...

I sent you an email, I hope you got it!

Tod said...

Wow, that staircase is amazing.