Shake a speare, the ground moves. Some people think we live in the boonies of rural Virginia, not knowing that music plays every corner, with living actors, dancers, authors, poets and artists galore. Drive an hour north and you’ll find a timberframe barn in the midst of historic Staunton where words written in the early seventeenth century echo fifty-two weeks of the year. I vote for Olympiads of art, literature and drama. Let the winners rule the world. Forget wasting it with firepower or raping it with derivatives no one understands.
Attend to top-notch actors in the American Shakespeare Center in Staunton, then dream…of barns of beauty, where folks gather to share the bounty of the land on which they stand. Of evenings of entertainment, simple sophisticated songs by familiar friends. Forsake flawless digital diction for parlor piano, raunchy rambunctious joy.
This morning, Karen introduced the idea of inviting guests to tour the farm and select their dinners. May I suggest…a bursting broccoli head, lean New Zealand rabbit, curly spinach, English peas (go ahead, shell them), a young barred-rock rooster, new potatoes, deep red tomatoes, sweet Silver Queen corn (Serendipity or Kandy Korn if you prefer). For a starter, here’s a spinner, fill it with richly colored lettuces if you please.
No, you won’t have to prepare them. While you wait in the air-conditioned barn, visit a string quartet or listen to a fiddle, banjo, guitar, sitar, balalaika, some other instruments you find hard to name, maybe a singer who sounds strange but familiar. Browse displays for homemade cheeses, produce, and local goodies of the crafty or artsy sort. Or stroll along the creek and river, paddle upstream in a kayak or innertube. Look under rocks for hellgrammites, pet a goat or two. Hop on a donkey, take a spin in a donkey cart.
Then back to the barn for suppertime.
“It sounds idyllic,” says Virginia.
And a lot of work.