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Date Posted: 07:34
Author: Hendrik - 26 May 2002
Subject: Foreword of book on Paulsen community

One of the dividends of running an annual writers' conference, as my wife and I do here in Santa Barbara, is the sometime discovery of a heretofore unnoticed, unacclaimed, and unpublished talent. Since the inception of the conference in 1972, many stories, novels, biographies and screenplays by the students have found loving reception in a variety of marketplaces and showplaces.

None is more gratifying than this unique book by a unique couple about a unique living style, which won the non-fiction award during our 1980 conference.

I had heard, vaguely, of Sunburst...knew that it "grew some fruit for health stores," knew that it had a "spectacular old schooner" out in the Santa Barbara harbor, knew that it was "some sort of a commune"...but that was about all.

What I didn't know until I read this book about Sunburst was that it is a 5,000-acre California home, farm, ranch and wildlife sanctuary owned collectively by 250 diverse and disparate individuals from all over America and from all walks of life, and that it is America's largest distributor of organically grown produce, earning some $16,000,000 in 1980 through its 12 wholesale and retail outlets in five cities.

What I also didn't know about was the courage and spirituality of its members.

Willow and Dusk Weaver startled their families and peers back in Atlanta when they announced that they were casting aside everything to go back to the land, live in a planned society and try to find themselves, and God.

How they came to discover Sunburst after a long period of frustration, disappointments and homelessness is part of the story. But the bulk of the book tells what goes on at a community like Sunburst; how a young, modern family adjusts to anachronistic ways of living and working and sharing; how to learn to live with, except for procreation, a denial of sexual relations; how to relate to those few at Sunburst who are not happy in paradise.

Sunburst is a fascinating, ingenuous, uplifting account of an old-new way of life in America, written by two dedicated young pioneers of our times.

Barnaby Conrad
Santa Barbara, California

Taken from: "Sunburst - A People, A Path, A Purpose" by Dusk & Willow Weaver, San Diego 1982, page IX

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