This was my first pagan festival, ever, and I can't believe I have never done this before! My emotions after this is over are still stirred up by all the wonderful new friends I have made and the incredible strengthening of the bonds I am making with my new grove (Yeah, I'm a Crane).
For those of you who weren't there, I will recap as briefly as I can (I could type here for hours about this). I was unable to go until Friday afternoon, and I got to camp around 3:00. SB helped me set up camp near some of the other Cranes. I spent some quiet time getting to know those camping around me until we had dinner. I met another Hellene, who camped directly across from me. She is a pleasure to be around, and I look forward to spending more time talking with her in the future.
The Bardic Circle was Friday night. I loved hearing all the things that everyone is working on. I had a bit too much liquid courage before I played my guitar, but it still turned out ok. For some reason, I find the Druids to be intimidating when it comes to revealing personal talents of my own. I know this is silly and comes from a long line of judgmental individuals with whom I have had the "pleasure" of critiquing my work. Anyway, everyone was really nice and accepting. After that, I had a very healing conversation with one of my new friends. She was kind and generous and said many wise things that I am still processing and hoping to integrate into my life.
Drum circle was awesome!! I met several people here, drunk as I was, and had lots of fun. I even danced for a minute (which is a lot for me). I tried my hand at drumming, but I was in desperate need of rest and detoxification (haha).Saturday was one of the best days of my life. I spent some excellent time in the dining hall having conversations with fellow Cranes and some very smart and witty Druids from other groves. We talked politics and sacred space and whatever else came up. I have been around many pagans, but none of them were able to hold their own in conversations pertaining to such daunting and obviously intellectual subjects.
After lunch, I went to the well with Shawn, who was in need to some healing and rejuvenation. We prayed, left offerings, collected water and communed with the Kindred. It was an excellent reprieve, and proved to be strengthening for us both. Unfortunately, I think I became dehydrated , causing me to have a cardiac episode. I have not had one in a while, and I found this to be disturbing. We went into the Dining Hall, had some water, and sat under the fans. It passed after about fifteen minutes. It was a long one, but I recovered with no other incident. It did leave me rather tired, but I ignored it, and it went away.
The Unity rite was beautiful. Two people were consecrated. It brought tears to me eyes. I was very pleased with the call to the Earth Mother and the use of the Sky Father for inspiration. They are dear to me, and their presence was felt after the beautiful words given to them. druidkirk is an excellent orator. He has much theatrical skill, which when accompanied by his devotion to the gods can probably move mountains. I enjoyed having him as our DIC for the Rite.
Our omens were incredible, and definitely were carried out that evening. We received Wealth, Joy and Fertility. Woot!
Dinner was great. I made some good friends over dinner. One of whom is a Wiccan Priestess and a beautiful person. She has a store about thirty miles from where I live. I will have to visit so we can talk! The auction was a hot mess. Our Druid auctioneers were lively and boisterous. Chronarchy was pleased to see his creations go for higher amounts than he anticipated (which was deserved; I saw the items and was impressed).
All in all, I think it was very successful.
Dulahan was excellent. They are high energy and fun, and they put on a heck of a show. I made some great connections during their performance. I talked and laughed (and drank) and had a great time.
Something interesting (?) happened after that, which I will not discuss here.
By the time I made it to the drum circle, it was late and the drummers were winding down. I stayed and talked and danced (and tripped over a bench). It was a powerful few hours for me internally. I made some new friends that I look forward to getting to know. It was encouraging to meet them, as we have a lot in common. I like kindred spirits. :)
Breakfast was good after only a few hours of sleep. It was rather surreal to return to normal functioning. Summerland at times feels outside of time and space, which I assume to be a gift from the Kindred. I broke camp in a record thirty minutes, so I went to find others who needed help. Everyone seemed to be well organized. I ended up barcoding shirts for Regalia. It is nice to help get things like that accomplished.
I was sad to go, but I deeply missed my children. When I got home, I was appropriately mauled by them. I took a shower after throwing my disgusting dirty clothes in the wash, followed promptly by a moment with the hubby and a nice long nap.
My only regret is the amount of alcohol I drank. I know that there are plenty who had more than me, and I probably needed the release. My life can be stressful to the point of emotional exhaustion, and I am always the one responsible for everyone and everything else. I am glad that I was among friends and able to "let loose" in such a way. I don't really know how much I had because I didn't keep track. Me! Didn't count and measure! I have guilt, but I am grateful for the reprieve from the zealous organization and almost OCD restraints I tend to use to bind myself. My shoulders haven't been this loose in ages!
Overall, this has been an experience that is changing me and helping to set the course of my life. I feel more sure than ever that I am finally where I belong. Thank you, Druids, for being who you are. It turns out you are a lot like me. Who could ever ask for more than that? Hail!
PS) Thanks to Jim for saying the words "Poo-poo" and "Underwear" several times to ensure I didn't get too homesick. :)