June 20th, 2011

Free Spirit 2011

I just got back from Free Spirit 2011. It's a pagan spiritual retreat in Maryland. I don't self-identify as pagan, although that may be similar to how Margaret didn't self-identify as poly for a long time. I had a really wonderful time. Since shava23 and I stopped seeing each other I've been missing having some forum for conversation about spirituality. I also needed a vacation and a chance to really open up. It delivered on all counts. I'd really like to thank tigira, lindalee and of course shava23 for discussions that got me in the right frame of mind to enjoy something like this. I'd also like to thank mrw42 for making the trip possible. I met so many wonderful people there.

There was a lot of positive things that happened there. A lot of it was personal though and is not something that I'm ready to share in a forum this public. It's not so much that anything has changed as that I've received a huge quantity of things to think about. However I would like to share a memory that will be with me for a long time.

Every night, there was a fire circle with drumming and dancing around a fire by the lake. I had a strong connection with these circles and went every night. Thursday, though, it rained rather a lot. After the concert, the fire was lit. Few people were there and it was raining heavily. Despite coverings that were provided, none of the drummers were willing to risk their instruments. Still people showed up, so we made it happen. Water coolers, hand and trashcan lids along with improvised sticks provided percussion. I was certainly willing to dance. A few others joined; one or two at my persuasion, some needed no encouragement. The rain was relatively warm as was the fire. I danced, around the fire, clothes soaked through, water streaming down my body, rejoicing in the experience. We were there because we wanted to create something that was important to us, and so we did. For me and I think many others that night it was a very special circle—a circle we can treasure even more because it was a rare experience shared by a small number.