May Moon Madness 2002

Wow, what a weekend! Amberflame was still getting over her cold and didn't feel like going, so I packed up the kids and away we went.

We had great weather and the energies at the May Moon Madness festival were just fantastic! A few times in the past it just didn't "feel right." Not BAD, necessarily, but.. chaotic? This year's crowd was smaller and many of the people there were folks I recognized as regulars from past events, so I think a lot of the "wanna-be's" from past festivals probably didn't get invited back this year.

Got to see many old friends, and made some new ones. Finally got to play my djembe in a drum circle... incredible rush!

Saturday night's feast was excellent this year. Roast pork tenderloins with a light glaze of barbecue sauce, carrot-raisin salad, bean salad, mixed fruit, raw veggies and dip, broccoli-cheese soup and bread pudding.

Afterwards, we skipped the main ritual and stayed by the fire behind the "castle" until the participants made their way to the field and lit the bonfire. When we heard the drums, we went down and I joined in with the rest of the drummers while everyone danced around the fire. The kids went back to our tent for bed shortly before midnight, but I stayed up and played until around 1:30. On the way back to camp I discovered I'd lost my glasses in the grass while I was lying on my belly getting some incredible photos of the full moon rising over the blazing bonfire. Went back to look for them but couldn't find them, and finally gave up and figured I could look for the pieces the next day.

Sunday morning I got up to find the tent empty. The girls had raided our last pack of wieners and were finishing them up by the fire at the castle. After about a half a pot of coffee I felt good to go and went back to the field where the fire was still smoldering. A couple was sitting on a blanket where they'd spent the night by the fire, just about where I figured I'd dropped them. They had a bunch of stuff with them so I didn't ask them to move, but did ask them to take a look when they did pack up. They said, "Oh, we did find a pair and put them over by the altar..." Cool - There they were, not a scratch on 'em!

I did a lot of the packing and breaking camp before the grand finale, the Maypole dance. Willow, our youngest, got picked to be the official Maiden this year, and got to ride the pole as it was carried to the site on the shoulders of the bearers. She was thrilled!

Felt a drop of rain during the dance, but we managed to get all our stuff into the car and say our goodbyes before the gathering (no pun intended) storm broke and head for home. On the way back we passed through Pigeon Forge, a six-lane tourist trap lined with souvenir shops and amusement parks. I could have avoided this as I did on the way to the festival, but I was looking for one of those big ceramic garden fireplaces we'd seen there a couple of years ago and regretted not buying ever since. We were almost out of town without seeing a single one, when I spotted one at a little shop we passed on the right. I did a couple of quick U-turns and went back to look at it - It was perfect!

Bigger than the ones we'd seen before, it was also more ornate. All the others were simple little round bottomed things, but this one was bigger, somewhat cylindrical at the bottom with a beautiful sun-moon symbol at the neck. It was also about $40 less in price than the ones we'd considered before - Perfect!

Only one catch. The shop was closed. No phone number on the door. Grrr!

I was tempted to stick a check under the door and leave the owner a note, but just knew that as soon as I did, the police would show up and would never believe I wasn't stealing the thing. So I went a couple of doors down to a shop that was open and asked if the lady there if she knew the owners. She did, so explained my dilemma and asked if she could help me out with the transaction. "Sure." she made a half dozen phone calls and finally caught up with the proprietor, got the okay, and sold me the firepot. I got soaked wedging it into the back of our almost fully-loaded Isuzu Trooper, but it finally fit and we headed for home again.

Amberflame was feeling much better by the time we arrived, but was glad she didn't go because she'd found she wouldn't have made it through Friday night sleeping in the tent. She's absolutely thrilled with the new garden addition, however!

Well, that's how I spent my weekend. It was great and I just feel.. pumped up and spiritually recharged. Still, it's still good to be home.


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