In January 2007, I was hippie napped (convinced under extreme emotional pressure…and gotta choose NOW) and taken to Florida for the Ocala Regional Rainbow Family Gathering. As a hermit……….it had to be something I so very badly wanted, or they never would have gotten me in that RV. Of course, one hour into the ride I wanted to change my mind, but I couldn’t. Thank God.
Upon arriving, we had to walk 3 miles through the everglades on a path. A very very narrow path. I didn’t know that fear and joy could both exist at the same time and in such extreme intensity. For two solid weeks, my fear level and my joy level both stayed at a 9 out of 10. Usually when I leave my house, I only feel fear, so this was a real treat! But the best treat of all………….was the Rainbow People. These humans accepted me and even liked me, just as I am, toothless and all. Not only that….they cared too. My first night there, before I got my supplies, I shivered………a stranger saw me shiver and yelled out…”hey, this mama is cold!” and within seconds, there was a coat on my shoulders, and a whisper of….”it’s yours”.
I asked everyone along the path, do you know Summer? My daughter was supposed to be there, so I kept asking, not realizing that there were over 5,000 people there. Just before we arrived at the main circle where I was given the coat, a young man answered with, ‘I’ve seen those eyes before’. He said he would go find the eyes that matched mine. And he did. He brought her to the main circle and she walked up to me with complete disbelief. Her hermit mother was at a Rainbow Gathering. We had a joyous reunion and she got me settled into their camp. It turns out the guy who gave me the coat was in our camp.
None of this really surprises me, as this is how I live my life, knowing that thoughts are energy. In my mind, I kept calling for a friend, George, and she walked to the path to our camp JUST as I was walking out for some reason. George! Before I go on however, let me go back to that first night. After finding Summer, we needed to retrieve our things from the van and carry them to camp. In the dark, complete dark, in the Florida everglades, where the crocodiles roam. My dog Blue, literally pulled me the three miles on the tiny path in the darkness. He saved me. I was terrified beyond fear. I couldn’t keep up with the others and if Blue hadn’t been with me, I probably would’ve just been eaten. Thank you Blue! By the way, we heard the crocs hissing every night, so scary.
Then poor Blue had to deal with the hundreds of dogs and he’d never really been socialized. I had to somehow reign in my fears so that nothing happened, it was very scary as well. They surrounded him and were doing the hump, many dogs. Blue didn’t run, did some growling and they allowed him in.
I was walked to and from main circle when it got dark, and some people just took it upon themselves to watch out for me. Since I came so unprepared, as the days went by, I received a container w/lid; fork, spoon and knife; a sweater from a sweet girl who said, here mama, it might get cold; a tampon; tea tree oil use, to TRY to keep the ticks and chiggers off, no luck; a hat; a basket purse…and my daughter, Summer, was so busy helping and dancing, that I got full use of tent and sleeping bag. Zackmunster (sp) even let us use his dolly to carry our supplies out, whew, what a help that was!
The Rainbows have shown me how life should be….how love should be. These are the wisest people I know. They can feed very large amounts of people with very little food and very little notice. They have a council of Elders every day and everybody takes care of everybody. Everybody contributes what they can….labor or a skill, and money is not allowed. In rainbow, you either trade it or give it. I found myself staring at the rings on my hand, wondering which one would I give for a flashlight. A $100 ring for a $5 light? You bet I would have. In the end, I was able to find one thing that I had, that some wanted and I got my flashlight, and was gifted 2 sets of batteries!
The days were filled with walking, meeting, greeting and exploring. As people passed each other on the path, “loving you’ was the key phrase. Sometimes there were people gathered in spots and you couldn’t pass unless you could offer, either a smoke, toke or joke. Sometimes they gave those things out instead of taking them. Dinner, for me, was a piece of tree bark as a plate and whatever was dished out onto my special plate as the people came around the circle with their huge pots of food. There was lots of singing and dancing, massages, trade circle, and so many kitchens you could go to as well. And at night the call of Zuzu’s meant fried twinkies or some such thing. Overall, it was glorious.
The campsites, circles, and water sources are spread out over many miles of wild forest, and when the call of FIRE went out……….hippies came from every corner of the woods to form 2 lines……..one for full things of water, the other for empties….(when I say things…..I mean things…….hats, bowls, jugs, etc…anything that could hold the smallest or biggest amount of lake water). The flames were 25 ft high, the people were covered with soot, and most were gagging/coughing…..but still the lines held. Some people ran down the lines pouring water into mouths, like a mama bird.
Before we got in the line, Blue and I had just gone to fill up a milk jug with water to take to camp, so when we heard Fire, we ran straight to it and gave it to someone even closer, to throw on the fire. Between the hundreds of hippies and the few chopper water dumps, the fire was contained. My best guess would be 1-3 hours of firefighting, and I believe I was # 171 or something when we circled up after and they counted the firefighters. It was so beautiful and awe inspiring. What an awesome thing to witness and be a part of….ya, even little ole me helped with the fire. It even came in handy that I was hippynapped, as I had an albuterol inhaler, which came to be needed during the fire, which Blue and I ran a mile and a half to get and a mile and a half to get back…this is After fighting the fire.
The next evening, I got pretty sick. Since my hippynappers had already left, I begged a couple friends to drive me home, George! I would buy all the gas and food…..and they did, bless their hearts. It took me weeks to recover, but it was THE best time of my life. I have since been to, one or two, my mind is playing with me. I know I was at the Arkansas National Gathering, but for some reason, I keep thinking I’ve been to 3. Maybe I’ll remember soon. I know I did not do justice to the spirit of the gathering, but I gave it my best shot.
Today, I was knocked down very hard by the two baby pups who were playing and running at high speed. Right after that, we loaded up the 3 lamb rams that I was afraid of and took them to their new home. I’m resting my aching body now, after then doing the normal Saturday things…groceries, feed, unload feed, feed animals. Best choice of words is,….I hurt. Signing off at Curly Locks Ranch. With a P.S. Bless your heart, Soulsby Farm, you helped me so much. I was feeling pretty useless after that post the other day. Thank you so much. 🙂
Oh ya, check this out. Now the grass will grow.
Ok, now I’m really signing off at Curly Locks Ranch.