A Reflection on this joyful gathering, written by Emily Boyer in January 2020.
Nearly an hour's drive from the tourist-swarmed amusement parks, the Peanut Butter Palace is a breath of fresh air on the other side of Orlando, Florida. They host community events and classes on topics from yoga to fermentation and have a reputation for being a cooperative of loving and engaged young folks.
This intentional community and suburban permaculture paradise seemed like the perfect place to host a small gathering we were hoping to create. We wanted to nudge people away from quintessential holiday spending at big box stores, and instead promote local generosity and the free gifting that's possible when you engage creatively with your community.
Our executive director lives in Florida, so she put out word to the Peanut Butter Palace about the desire to have a 2019 version of a Kindista Free Market - similar to our 2015 Kindista Holiday Market: Buy Nothing & Share Freely. The Peanuts were excited about the idea! They too wanted to host a gathering with a "swap" of items like clothes, small appliances, tools, bedding... alongside a delicious vegan meal, fermentation station, Thai massage offerings, a casual song & sharing circle, and time spent connecting within community.
The conscious-minded community in Orlando is drawn to the Peanut Butter Palace's ecologically-minded mission and events, and they showed up in storm! They brought their car trunks full of all sorts of stuff to share freely, like that fancy coffee maker they never used, small solar panels they apparently didn't need, a brand new deep fryer, their random box of "junk", nice clothes they never wore anymore ...it was someone else's treasure indeed!
Harmony and abundance were palpable that evening. Among a few of the many touching sights were:
❤ Friends, new and old, sharing hugs of greeting and appreciation.
❤ Two women smiling while one shared her story of a hand-made item the other women was bringing home with her from the free market.
❤ Sounds of enjoyment over the good food prepared by our incredible volunteers.
❤ Expressions of joy and pleasant surprise.
❤ Astounding generosity.
❤ Sweet songs and heart-shares offered in our closing circle.
This is how networks of trust are grown! Gratitude to all of you who are building trust in yourself and in your communities. Thank you.