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Summer Solstice; Praising the Sun: June, 2015

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive. And go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”

                                                                      — Howard Thurman, philosopher.

Summer solstice. fire. heat. sun. the longest day of the year. Praise for the sun god ra. members and guests at max capacity. what could possibly go so perfectly “wrong?”

Well… the wood pile fell over, out of the blue; the bathroom door locked by itself, mysteriously; the water pump ceased to pump, somehow… and a giant pot fell on la sassy presidente’s head!

The sun has spoken.

Mama Becca (aka Mecca) lovingly lures everyone to the top of the hill for the annual, beautiful Bryan/Becca SUMMER SOLSTICE RITUAL where offerings of tobacco, chocolate, incense, liquor etc were made to our generous and abundant SUN that fuels our souls with nourishment. Mama Becca (aka Mecca) lovingly lures everyone to the top of the hill for the annual, beautiful Bryan/Becca SUMMER SOLSTICE RITUAL where offerings of tobacco, chocolate, incense, liquor etc were made to our generous and abundant SUN that fuels our souls with nourishment. One mega-big, super-happy FAMILY BREAKFAST having one hella cool time on the bright, sunshiny morning of The Longest Day of the Year! One mega-big, super-happy FAMILY BREAKFAST having one hella cool time on the bright, sunshiny morning of The Longest Day of the Year! Welcome to RUNNING SPRINGS RANCH shiny happy people! Welcome to RUNNING SPRINGS RANCH shiny happy people!

no time a wastin’… let’s put our guests to work:

With a whip and spatula in hand, our newest members, Zoe and Walt, on the Saturday dinner team are cooking up a storm at the outdoor kitchen! Walt has his hands full co-leading a 40-people cook-up with Shani, while Zoe is team lead cream whipper for dessert. With a whip and spatula in hand, our newest members, Zoe and Walt, on the Saturday dinner team are cooking up a storm at the outdoor kitchen! Walt has his hands full co-leading a 40-people cook-up with Shani, while Zoe is team lead cream whipper for dessert. Following his morning meditation, Ford cannot afford to waste his calm vibes and so he induces pounds of organic strawberries with bliss. Thank you Ford! (Oh, that's Sige in the background on the drapes with a drill...) Following his morning meditation, Ford cannot afford to waste his calm vibes and so he induces pounds of organic strawberries with bliss. Thank you Ford! (Oh, that’s Sige in the background on the drapes with a drill…) Erin reads Erin reads “Trouble with Friends” to Skyla, Colton, Violet and Lev… she does not look impressed with the content. Trouble? Not with these friends! Daniel rolling up his Daniel rolling up his “sleeves” to enter the pond… As chirpy as As chirpy as “Mary Poppins'” chimney sweep, Chris J. single-handedly constructs the outdoor shower! I can almost hear Dick Van Dyke’s words: “Chim chim… che-ree…” coming out of the shower nozzle!

too much work & no play makes us dull…

so here are the sweet chill-out moments:

lazing and lounging on the lawn; kidzone fiesta siesta party; balloon water bombing fun; five birthday celebrations; impromptu music night in the cabin and an italian inspired feast on the eve of the longest day of the year!

Sige laying low on a candy-striped cloud with Violet, 6 and Skyla, 5—our future matriarchs! Sige laying low on a candy-striped cloud with Violet, 6 and Skyla, 5—our future matriarchs! New-ish Mama Becca spinning yarn with Baby Izea—custodians of the newly erected geodesic dome (epicenter of the KIDZONE) bought, hauled and lovingly re-constructed by Michael S. and Lev, 3.  New-ish Mama Becca spinning yarn with Baby Izea—custodians of the newly erected geodesic dome (epicenter of the KIDZONE) bought, hauled and lovingly re-constructed by Michael S. and Lev, 3. Who is the somebody that helped the kiddos fill balloons with water... Papa G? And now look whose gettin' it! ... Ford chases down ...Papa G! Who is the somebody that helped the kiddos fill balloons with water… Papa G? And now look whose gettin’ it! … Ford chases down …Papa G! Shani (and food-pod team's) culinary feast dreams come true: Tuscan white bean soup; pene a ala vodka, fennel green salad and there's Ilya, Shani (and food-pod team’s) culinary feast dreams come true: Tuscan white bean soup; pene a ala vodka, fennel green salad and there’s Ilya, “O Captain, My Captain!” at the helm 🙂 Friday night cozy in the cabin celebrating five birthdays: Melanie, Bryan, Julia, Rachael B and little Lorenza! Thank you Sige for the decadent cakes galore, sparkling candles and all! So sweeeeet! Friday night cozy in the cabin celebrating five birthdays: Melanie, Bryan, Julia, Rachael B and little Lorenza! Thank you Sige for the decadent cakes galore, sparkling candles and all! So sweeeeet! The chill-out, after-party, music-fest with Julia on violin and Ilya on guitar serenading Sonya, La Sassy Presidente and Daniel—in the The chill-out, after-party, music-fest with Julia on violin and Ilya on guitar serenading Sonya, La Sassy Presidente and Daniel—in the “lion’s den.” The impromptu music ensemble request was courtesy of Brian B—his birthday. MORE MUSICA MAESTROS!!!!

Melani corralled crafty hands to create teeny weeny two-inch bow and arrows made of sticks with a little felt pouch filled with q-tip arrows as father’s day gifts…

…and here’s what 2 dads did with them:

…a back-to-back wild-west gun-slinger quick-draw action-packed show-down!

Eric and Bryan go back-to-back with their two-inch bows and arrows... There's Skyla and Violet as the umpire-esses cheering them on and the game is on... the tension is palpable. Eric and Bryan go back-to-back with their two-inch bows and arrows… There’s Skyla and Violet as the umpire-esses cheering them on and the game is on… the tension is palpable. Five seconds later, we have one man down. It's Bryan B. and all that is left of him are his sandals. Eric is over the moon ecstatic. He has never before experienced such raucous applause for such a victorious moment. Eric... you Hero, you! Five seconds later, we have one man down. It’s Bryan B. and all that is left of him are his sandals. Eric is over the moon ecstatic. He has never before experienced such raucous applause for such a victorious moment. Eric… you Hero, you!

and… stuff got done… lots got done.

here’s the full list below and some pics of the new outdoor shower; the pond’s new bubble-maker pump and the beginnings of an outdoor compost toilet in the making!

BEFORE: To do list... BEFORE: To do list… AFTER: Done list! AFTER: Done list! The red pump that according to Gregory will The red pump that according to Gregory will “BUBBLIFY” our Dragonfly Pond. Real bubbles bubbling next to the dock and further out to the right... our red pump is pumping! (Photo courtesy of Gregory who spent most of the day bubbling up the pond.) Real bubbles bubbling next to the dock and further out to the right… our red pump is pumping! (Photo courtesy of Gregory who spent most of the day bubbling up the pond.) The outdoor shower that Chris J built. Thank you Chris! Every time the water showers us with her love, we will think of your labor. ;) The outdoor shower that Chris J built. Thank you Chris! Every time the water showers us with her love, we will think of your labor. 😉 Sergio leading the compost toilet project and standing pretty much at the exact site where our human excrement will join other human excrement before being dumped in the forest as fertile compost. LEAVE NO TRACE. Eco composting, water saving, fertile soil days here we come! Sergio leading the compost toilet project and standing pretty much at the exact site where our human excrement will join other human excrement before being dumped in the forest as fertile compost. LEAVE NO TRACE. Eco composting, water saving, fertile soil days here we come!

best quotes of the days:

“… and this is our Russian resident gypsy acupuncturist healer…” — (I can’t remember who said this but it was someone introducing Ilya to some guests.)

“Baby, I think you should crawl!” – Becca (talking to seven month old baby Izea)

“I just want to stay local right now..” — Melani (talking about hanging out near the cabin to listen for Colton asleep)

“I highly recommend peeing outside!” — Moana (when other guests heard about the broken loo)

“We need hefty men to walk down and fill up buckets.” — Carlin (when we ran out of water due to the bust water pump.)

“I’m sorry baby, it’s a good thing there are multiple men in your life taking care of you.” — Gregory to Sonya (after she got hit on the head by a falling pot and was being cared for by Daniel.)

“I’m tired of this conversation.” — Kim (talking to two-year-old Puma.)

“My heart bursts to imagine children being given the tools early on for better communication…” —Sonya

“Watch out hunter!” — Eric (as he slings his two-inch bow and arrow at Bryan)

“Why wasn’t Sonya wearing a helmet?” — Lev, 3 (minutes after the giant kitchen pot fell on Sonya’s head.)

“Who needs drugs when you have eyes!” — Chris J. marveling at the sunset and vistas on Ritual Hill.

“I’m off to my helipad…”  — Stacey (at the end of the weekend, dragging a huge suitcase across the lawn.)

two musical vids:

  • “joe’s the beauty in you”

  • “violet’s father’s day song”

and that’s all folks!

Shani Raviv, June 2015

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Julia Maryanska


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