Harvest Gathering was about to take place again. Sean and I went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth about going. Then, I got a text two Friday nights ago from my friend, Nicole, who said, “man you just gotta go! You must experience this. I promise you’ll love it.” So I told her I’d talk to the boss and see what he thought. It wasn’t hard, of course, to convince Sean to go to a local music festival, but I still did a little dance of victory. We woke up the next morning to conquer and divide our duties. I made a giant batch of burritos. Sean packed our camping gear. Then we grabbed Sean’s favorite reggae CD’s, a coat (just in case) and sunglasses, and started our drive North. Like earlier this month, the further North we drove, the nastier the weather became, until we were driving through a corn field in a down pour, wondering how long the skies would stay gray.
But as we pulled on to the property, a shift came over our moods, and suddenly, it didn’t matter what the weather was. It didn’t matter how cold we were. It just didn’t matter. The only thing that mattered was being there; and we had made it!
We listened to music in the barn. absorbed by the warmth from strangers’ bodies. People everywhere were carrying beers and indulging in conversation. And for as many people as there were, there was nothing but kindness and friendliness. Everyone was happy, there was no way around it. Standing by bonfires people warmed their bodies. Sitting at wooden tables, people huddled in closely, eating organic Michigan popcorn and discussing what music they had heard. We hopped from stage to stage, soaking in as much local music as we could get. As we watched one band play late at night, the skies let loose and the rains came down. A representative from the tribe who spoke earlier that evening at the water blessing ceremony had said that thunder meant our ancestors were present. When the people in front of us raised their hands to the rain, I watched it roll from their palms in the light off the stage. I remembered what he had said at that moment, and I think he was right. I believe our ancestors were there in that moment. I could feel them in the souls of my boots. And it all felt very good.
Around midnight, we left the woods from were we had been watching The Appleseed Collective, holding hands and feeling very good about the life we live. Zipping ourselves into our tent, shivering and exhausted, the rain feel hard and then even harder. We had made it just in time. And I was feeling very thankful for that. And most of all, I was thankful that we made to Harvest Gathering as a whole. Nicole was right, I did love it. And I can’t wait to go back next year, and the year after that and the year after that…
Happy Monday, friends. May you have a good memory to get you through the week!
PS: Oh, and that cute little family is Mike & Ruthie. Sean and I thought they were pretty great and totally inspiring! Who doesn’t want a family band!?