What an amazing family who readies this beautiful place, harnesses its energy, prepares this piece of Mother Earth to play hostess to a group of people who love this land like their homeland, which it is for many of us. Though we may spend only a few days a year wandering these green fields and dipping our toes in the cool pond, it feels like home when you start down the lane. The greenery closes behind you, enveloping you in the magic, almost as if another world doesn't exist.
It's at these events that I see POSSLQ at his best. The stresses of everyday life melt away, and he gets lost in the magic of Spirithaven. I quietly watch him direct traffic, answer questions, seek out the next back-breaking project, and be free of the corporate harness. He's been here all week, teasing the magic out of the land, and helping prepare it for the citizens who will soon arrive. Any obstacles he encounters are of the good variety, the kind that serve to make you feel like you've affected a change in the world.
And affect change he has. They all have. I've watched this week as they've woken the farm from a lazy spring, readied it for the frenzy of activity. Each afternoon I drive down the lane to a new, beautiful sight. Tall, wild, rain-soaked and sun-fed grass trimmed short to create a soft, natural dancing surface. An inspired new tent organization. Every year, a fresh idea to improve the experience.
Though I wasn't able to throw myself into the hard labor of preparing the farm, I did get a chance to help set up a few big canvases. Trying to stay ahead of the dark cloud looming overhead, creeping over the ridge, we fell into the rhythm of these festivals, throwing stakes, ropes, and tent poles to their proper locations, and quickly taking up the series of tasks required to get the tent off the ground. At one point, we barely had the ridgepole raised when a strong wind kicked up, the raindrops started to fall, and everyone ended up getting soaked in the dashing about to divert small rivers away from the grassy areas. A plush, wet valley at any time, Spirithaven has received an abundance of soaking rain showers in the past few months, making the ground ooze with water as you step.
As campers start to pull in and tents are placed, a hard rain once again starts to fall. Now even the high ground is beginning to get very muddy, and there is a danger of cars getting stuck, or sliding out of control. D.I.D. sees rain every year, but the sheer volume of water already this spring compounds the problem, and Sheque, the Spirithaven Year-Rounders, and POSSLQ had extra work to protect the land and the Darbukastani citizens, including laying last-minute gravel, roping off large areas of the farm, and filling in mudholes. Little Year-Rounder and I stood in the dark and steady rain for more than an hour tonight, supervising citizens and treating our feet to a cool, refreshing mud bath.
As wet as yesterday ended, today turned out quite pleasant. The farm was alive with campers when I arrived after work. Workshops, dancing, drumming, and the simply chatter of catching up contribute to the magic, but the best magic will arrive later this evening.
Two dear friends weren't planning to attend this year, but loads of positive thinking and manifestation have enabled them to drive up for the weekend, and excited simply doesn't describe the feeling of seeing them for the first time in nearly eight months.
I got to spend the afternoon with Little Love Baby and Mama today, playing in the mud and throwing snacks to the peacocks. I do love those two, and LLB gets funnier every time I see him.
As evening falls, the rhythmic chantings of the guedra fill the air, and the CeltHix are preparing to play. The Welcome Concert promises to be a good one. The positive energy in the air is palpable, and soon Little Year-Rounder taps my shoulder and points out a car carrying our friends. Muddy embraces ensue, and we settle in to enjoy the show.
Mud boots were a staple this weekend!
After morning chores and a brief stop at the coffee shop, we headed off to the farm, excited to spend the whole day soaking up the D.I.D. energy. Archery lessons, daisy-chaining, and lazing about by the pond took up most of the morning, and POSSLQ, Hippie Sister, and I took a walk and a swim in the early afternoon. Though the water was quite chilly, it was refreshing to soak in the secluded pool, a hill of daisies to one side, the quiet, damp forest to the other.
Though the sun shone warm all day, the breeze off the pond and light fluffy clouds made the day seem perfect. Small children run around the farm the whole weekend, discovering the joys of rural living. An escape from constantly learning what they aren't allowed to do, they delight in the freedom to simply be children. Though Spirithaven is a working farm, these kids are on vacation in the country, and enjoy the pleasures of spring on a farm without the chores the Year-Rounders are so familiar with.
After dinner, campers headed off for a quick nap, and we lounged a little more under the tree near the pond, awaiting the party. The hafla was more subdued than some years, but still very enjoyable, and the performances were, as always, amazing. POSSLQ and I enjoyed a stroll in the moonlight, then I lay in bed and listened to the drumming continue well into the night, with many citizens hearing the roosters crow before heading to bed.
A quick early-morning trip back home to do morning chores, and back to the farm I go. Today will be spent winding down, packing up, and saying good-byes. After most of the citizens head back, I'm sure we will start to break down the festival site. Though both setting up and breaking down are a lot of work, the pre-festival work always takes more than a week, and breaking down can be finished in a day or so. As Sheque will tell Little Year-Rounder this afternoon, there's an excitement to the setting up, knowing you are getting ready to see friends, share ideas, enjoy music and dancing. Breaking down has a sadness to it, the knowledge that you won't see many of these people for another year. There's a meditative moment when you reflect on the weekend, knowing the energy will fade, but the memory of a good time and the excitement for next year will get you through the daily grind of life until you can escape back to the magic of Darbukastan.