The New York State Museum has been running a variety of programs relating to the Shakers (which settled first near Albany. The village, called Niskayuna and then Waterlviet, is so close to the airport that some of the fields now lie under runways. But I digress)
This past Saturday, the Museum held a program featuring Shaker songs and the dances – if they can be called that – that were a part of the Shaker services. Not for the Shakers did a service consist of sitting in a pew. Although the songs and movements chosen for audience participation were simple – had to be I think – it was pretty clear to me that the services must have been physically demanding. Considering they were farmers, they must have been in good shape!
The service was engaging and I did not expect to be as moved as I was.
The Museum has a number of other programs this spring. I know I can’t participate in all of them – I don’t get out of work until after 4 – I am hoping to attend some of the others. This fascinating group was so much more than furniture – as perfect as it was.