Monday, September 03, 2007

Ren Faire - The Next Generation

We (my sister and I) got our real start in the herb business about 15 years ago when we set up an herb shop within the grounds of a nearby renaissance faire.

My first visit to the faire, many years prior, had left me with one thought - I wanted to be a mud beggar. Settling for merchant was "ok". We still got to play all day, dressed up in some form of adult role playing. The experiences we had at the faire were memorable and fun. On various occasions, we danced in the street, sang along with street musicians, hosted human fountain demos from the roof of our shop, made soap in front of our shop, were buried in the street, were threatened on a daily basis by the venomous governor (our dear friend Robbie), learned the Queen Cheer, and observed "wench breaks". Every day was full of adventure and merriment - plus we made some money.

Our children were part of this world, spending many hours on the shire along with us. Molly at 6 or 7 would often take off with her favorite gypsy for a couple of hours, and they would sing, dance, and tell stories. Rob met up with a juggler's son of a like age, and attempted to sell rocks to patrons. This year, they've taken up where we left off. Molly, Rob (not pictured - back to college early, not that he'd allow a pic anyway...), and their friend Sonny have all taken jobs at the faire. Molly and Sonny are street vendors, selling roses, and Rob is working in the forge, selling weaponry.

I snapped a picture as Molly and Sonny were getting in the carriage (hah) this morning to begin another day at work and play. It makes me very happy to see the kids doing something that is at the same time fun and profitable.
Suddenly, the things we do are more interesting. The soapmaking, herbal crafts, bead making, and distilling seem to have more value to the kids. We became "cool" by continuing to do the same things we've always done. It's just that now they have some relevance to our young'uns.
Dare I hope that the day will come when my daughter will want to spend time weaving lavender and rosemary? Might she find an interest in hand rolled incenses and herb beads? Could she ever want to toil in the garden harvesting the fragrant plants? Searching the woods and meadows for wild medicinal plants? Digging in the soil? One can dream.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Mem'ries... light the corners of my mind... Misty water color mem'ries... of the PA Ren Faire. :) I love seeing a new generation of "young uns" enjoying not only the Faire but the incredible crafts you and Maryanne create. Not only did you get your start at the Faire, but it was a great launchpad for you. And sister, this is only the beginning! One can indeed dream! :)