Maine Day 10: Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake
I felt terrible that the last mark we left on the Halpert home was that we broke the doorknob off the bathroom.
But nonetheless, we moved onward. This morning, we moved in with Stacy & Jake for the day/night. We headed up to Sabbathday Lake Shaker Village, which is the last surviving Shaker VIllage. There are only 2 Shakers still living and working in the village. It is literally a dying sect, and it's saddening, because it seems like such a pure and beautiful life. I was glad they opened their village and farm to the public for their annual event.
When we arrived, there just happened to be a whirling dervish twirl up a stack of hay, and it RAINED hay down all over us! Just little flits of hay, floating down, like magic. Eloise was purely delighted and squealed with amazement and joy. I caught a piece for her, right out of the sky. I still have it.
We witnessed many demonstrations of quality workmanship and how things are/were done in the Shaker Village. It seems many artisans are well acquainted with the practical tasks and crafts there, and other still are familiar with and practice the religion. I'm unsure why more people were not accepted to live in the village and allow the religion to live on. Nonetheless, it's a gorgeous place that fills your heart with purity and joy just to breathe it in.
We saw people who made brooms, people who built dovetailed drawers and furniture, a wool spinner, weavers, and gardening galore. There was a tractor, animals, an extensive herb garden (which was apparently at one time a booming business), and rows of organic vegetables growing. We even had our photograph taken by a tin type photographer who was visiting for the event. There was ice cream, music, a few small tents of lovely handmade items (I bought a letterpressed notepad), and finally, a hay ride.
As we took the last hayride of the day, the man giving the tour turned out to be one of Jake's teachers from junior high! He taught us about the apple tree on the side of the road, how it was planted for hungry travelers passing by. I thought of how our own church is renovating a large ungated garden area right in the middle of downtown and I think now, too, that we should plant fruiting trees for anyone walking through who may need one.
Visiting the Shaker Village at Sabbathday Lake was such a treat. I'm glad I got to visit, and the children enjoyed a day of fresh air and sunshine here in this little piece of soon-to-be history.