Carbondale has a First Friday Art Walk each month to promote the arts and downtown businesses. Last month (November), I had a great time playing the harp on the street outside "The Lift Coffee House" which is a charming cafe with lots of character. It was comfortably cool on the south side of "The Lift" but as the air got chillier, I got to take the harp inside and continue playing. David and I had a great late supper there after I finished playing the harp. Wonderful food and fun ambiance! Next door, at the "Novel Tea Company" (bookstore and gifts), author Carol Ann Wilson was reading excerpts from her book "Still Point of the Turning World, The Life of Gia-fu Feng - Author of the best-selling translation of the Tao Te Ching". Carol Ann Wilson is a lovely speaker and had shared many interesting anecdotes with us. The atmosphere at the First Friday Art Walks is so memorable. The brisk mountain air coupled with the aroma of fine foods from the many award winning restaurants leads you down Main St. One can leisurely chat with friends sitting at the outdoor dining areas or warm yourself indoors with a coffee and dessert. Carbondale reminds me of a young Taos... interesting shops, lots of artists, and terrific dining.
This Friday will be an especially enchanting evening in Carbondale. Starting at 5:15 pm the First Friday Art Walk teams up the Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities (CCAH) and the Town of Carbondale to bring art, hot chocolate, roasting marshmallows, Santa, and much more to Main St. visitors. I will be toasty and warm in the CCAH Gallery serving wine and bringing that extra, EXTRA special holiday cheer! The downtown Christmas lights are all shined up and ready to be lit on this magical evening. I imagine it will look like a scene from a Kinkade painting as the Carbondale Elementary School Choir escorts Santa from the CCAH Gallery down Main St. to the 4th St. Plaza for a bonfire and goodies. I hope I can get some photos of this adorable scene. The shops in Carbondale will be decorated and open for fun Christmas gift hunting.
The Craft 2 Wear for the Holidays is also preparing for a fabulous show this Friday. Designers, silkscreeners, knitters, and jewelers will show off their wares and provide visitors with great ideas for Christmas gifts. This should be really wonderful and inspiring because the people in this area are extremely creative. There's no telling what we'll see this Friday.
From Friday through Tuesday, Carbondale will have a very unique group of visitors. The 11th Annual International Gathering will meet in Carbondale. It is estimated that about 100 native elders, healers, scholars, shamans, and spiritual leaders from throughout North and South America will hold prayer blessings, ceremonies, indigenous concerts, panel discussions, healing workshops, and community drumming circles at various locations in the valley. One location is the Carbondale Nature Park which is one of Sadie's (our dog) favorite places. A 48 acre park with a great view of Mt. Sopris is a popular place for dog lovers to take their furry friends off leash.
The main heart of this conference is dedicated to help mend the wounds between all peoples and relations with Mother Earth, according to the organizers. Mt. Sopris is considered a sacred presence and will be a focal point in some of the ceremonies and circles. Delegates will come from all over: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Chile, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Yucatan, Peru, Venezuela, Fiji, Australia, Alaska, Hawaii, South Dakota, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Colorado and Montana. I hope to witness some of these events. It is no surprise to me that Carbondale has been chosen for the conference's location. There is a special spiritual quality in the air here. Perhaps it is the striking view of Sopris as it hovers over the town with protective arms.