I am writing this on my iphone and it is about to die. I wanted to publish this so bare with the mistakes. Love!
I am 7 days deep in the woods. Cut off from civilization, and engulfed by mother nature. The ground is covered with last springs leaves. Poping up from between them are future strong oak trees sprouting their very first leaf. The trees and vegetation is so thick around me. Sun light easily gluides by to keep me very comfortable…
I arrived around 8:30pm set my pack down and was greeted with open arms, smiles, and everyone I met gave me a enthusiastic heart felt,”Welcome Home.” Being it is my first Rainbow Gathering I wanted to jump right in and start helping. While serving family (everyone here is family) dinner I met Curly and she gave me my first gift, a awesome necklace.
My initial perception and understanding of what Rainbow Gathering really is was thrown off by two things. First, I went into it with my on preconceived notions and ideas. I had my own expectations of what I wanted it to be. Second, I lost focus on the lesson I am trying to teach myself. And that is to live with understanding rather then judgement. The first night I stayed in the front welcome area. There were a lot of people binge drinking and were pretty negative in general. I momentarily second guessed my decision to come in the first place. I reminded myself not to judge a book by its cover. I still had many days to explore and discover.
Over the next few days I ventured further and further into the woods. People come in a week early to set up kitchens and camps to feed people. Setting up these camps requires a lot of work. You have to dig huge fire pits, build a kitchen/stove, and a lot of wood choppin’. I figured my best way to make new friends would be to go to all the kitchens and help out with those tasks. I volunteered for everything I could and met some incredible people in the process. The people who set up these kitchens are mostly kids ranging from 18-30 running the entire operation. These are kids who have no money, train hop to get from point a to b, an travel around the country. They make shit happen! People coordinate with local food banks an scrap together money an then give it right back to anyone who comes by there kitchen.
Any time I travel to another country I always want to learn their customs so I can be respectful of them. I travel because I want to experience and explore something other then what I know. Coming into Rainbow Gathering is no different. The family has their own language and terms. They have different ways of going about things. I wanted to be respectful and learn. I did a lot of listening over the first few days. Observing an picking up incredible knowledge everywhere. I didn’t want to just go in the middle of a families camp. I wanted to feel out everyone an I wanted to be invited to join the tribe…
I have to give a bit of a intro to how I came to be come a part of the family I am camped with. Throughout this trip I have been whistling one tune in particular. When ever I feeling tired after walking for a long period or I need to pick myself up I whistle “Bear Necessities” from Jungle book. One day it just popped in my head and I have not been able to stop since. After four days of camping by myself I found my family. The Bear Necessities rolled in to Rainbow Gathering. I was walking by and noticed they had a ton of gear to hike into the woods. I offered to help. After we got everything to camp things got rockin’ and rollin’. Rabbit doesn’t like to claim to be the leader of the family;but he is. I knew he was the man to talk to. We collaborated and decided how to dig the Bliss pit (Bliss pit is a giant fire pit that everyone sits around when we eat, and we stay there late into the night talking and playing music.) The Bliss pit is 100′ feet in diameter and 2 1/2 feet deep. We both hopped on it and started talking. Rabbit is a born leader and incredibly smart. He has a lot of big dreams an is actively growing in that direction everyday. We dug for a solid four hours and then went off to gather wood. At the end of the evening he told me that would love it if I joined their camp. I believe he saw the leader in me, and a strong work ethic to get shit done. I have to thank my Father and my Grandfather for instilling that strong work ethic in me. They taught me that building your own home and using your hands for physical labor is good for you. Plus I am a little kid at heart. Playing in the dirt with new friends digging to create monumental flames! I am a city boy, I never really get the opportunity to chop wood. I like creating challenges for myself. For me, right now there could be nothing more fun then choppin wood???? Although I have been missing and thinking about surfing a lot lately. My phone is about to die so I will have to sign out for now. There is a lot more adventures and stories to follow. I am having the time of my life and adding a lot of knowledge to the bank. I love all of you.