Gathering in the woods

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We had a lovely in person gathering in August including dance, sharing, singing, fire and food in the woods near Bristol. You can read some beautiful words from Morag about the gathering here. 

It was windless, the smoke went vertically upwards through the skylight, the rain came vertically downwards. Thunderous rain, but the singing grew to match it. Dancing by the light only of fire embers and candles. No electricity, the tap elusive, a five minute walk and only some can find it, overgrown by ivy. Someone plays a shaker that adds a new texture to the music.

Following a path – is it the one I thought it was? Rain-heavy yew trees and elms and brambles, releasing their drops down my neck; the toilets a little treacherous, better to pee in the bushes but checking first for baby nettles. But so warm, so easy to live in the woods. So welcomed by the mudhouse, the parachute coverings, the log circles and wood stores; the ribboned paths a maze. I watch my feet get blacker and blacker; feeling the earth with my feet, I am different, it’s richer. I notice that delicious food brings a special feeling. Leaving by the light of a full moon, the blackness of trees, eyes blinded by someone’s phone torch or candle, negotiating tree roots and mud.

I’ve forgotten my own face but can remember every detail of the faces around me. Some have changed since I saw them one, two years ago. I am happier being with people because of the trees and the mud and the rain. We are all coping together and that makes me at home here. Each story, each different perspective, each poem, song or word brings more richness to our whole, our community.

Burning what is passed, listening with new ears, seeing possibilities of an enlivened community, seeing us all awake not knowing what lies in store. Floods, fires, less structure, more necessity – our mother saying to us “give back what you have taken”. Leave behind security, it does not exist, come and spend the rest of your life doing what is meaningful.

The next gathering will be on Sunday 3rd October 4pm until dark. Welcome to join us – more info here.

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