Submitted by Polly Howells, Saugerties New York, Site of gunpowder mill that exploded 160 years ago
Nine of us, most of us members of Woodstock or Saugerties Transition Towns, gathered beside the aging broken wall of the gunpowder mill that exploded and burned in 1854, killing many workers and others in the surrounding town. Karuna led us in a Native American/Sufi invocation to the four directions and to earth, water, fire and air.
Then we heard the deep story of this beautiful piece of woodland from Ray, who lives downstream. When we wandered, and I sat on the broken wall of the mill, I felt the rumbling of that long ago explosion under me. We all brought back bits of decaying wood, flowers, pine needles and cones, some non-organic garbage from the floor of the woods, and we created a rather abstract bird. We then drummed and chanted and followed the path back to the road, at which point two of us discovered that our fourth granddaughter had been born while we were in ceremony! And shortly after that, it began to rain.