Vulnerability and Viability

Brené Brown suggests courage is born out of vulnerability, not strength. She goes on to say the original definition of courage is “to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart.” Her findings on shame and “wholeheartedness” are inspiring millions.

Spektral Quartet

This week Scrag Mountain Music will once again grace our barn with international caliber music.  Mary and Evan and their friends the Spectral Quartet are truly stepping out, bringing chamber music to non-traditional venues in hopes of engaging more people. They stress that while classical music provides intellectual stimulation, what they seek and cherish about playing in places such as our barn is increased emotional connection with individuals and the audience.

We seek the same and would love to offer you a hot bowl of soup (for a small fee!) prior to the concert downstairs in our farmstand.


Like Scrag Mountain Music, our Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative intentionally invites engagement. We engage each other as we struggle and innovate to improve the viability of our small farms and food-based enterprises. We engage visitors who crave the opportunity for rural and farm-based experiences and wholesome products. In turn, visitors are central to the viability of our businesses and communities.

All this brings us back to vulnerability. In the best moments our Cooperative meets in warmth, with snacks, great ideas and executes successful events. But collaboration requires that we all stretch to relate to others. Positioning our businesses to embrace visitors, inviting them into the intimacy of our family farms and home-based businesses and community is by definition about vulnerability!

But what we the members of the Cooperative keep being wowed by is that the result of all of this wholeheartedness is rewarding beyond expectation. We learn as individuals and our group advances. Brookfield isn’t yet the epicenter of agritourism like Tuscany but we present intimate invitations to the world and the energy of participants attending our events is contagious. This energy, together with financial participation, re-energize and make our farms and community-based art and businesses viable.

Recent years have seen the emergence of “flash mobs” singing carols in public spaces. Caroling has been a tradition in Vermont villages and towns since colonial days, sometimes in religious celebration, sometimes more like folks songs, reminding the community of what it once did or thought important – manifesting wholeheartedness.

Next week (Dec 8th and 9th) we hope you are able to join us at the Floating Bridge Food and Farms Cooperative’s annual Holiday Market. If you want to play along intensively experimenting with vulnerability and courage, we will be thrilled if you bring your voice over the hills and through the woods to the Floating Bridge for some Community Caroling! While you are at it bring accordions, banjos, guitars, flutes, horns and drums of any type.

If you can’t join Scrag Mountain Music this weekend or our mini-mob of carolers at the Floating Bridge next weekend, embrace vulnerability where you are. It appears that this, even more than fresh air and rural experiences is the birthplace of joy, belonging and fulfillment.