I return home from Druid Camp exhausted, sore and covered in bits of field. In the last few days I have been inspired, challenged, encouraged and affirmed. There’s a lot to unpack from the experience, so that’s going to dominate the blog for some days to come, I rather suspect. If you’re wondering how I managed to get all of last week’s posts written in the midst of this – I cheated – and set them up in advance.
There were three fantastic speakers at camp, Professor Ronald Hutton spoke about the seasonal festivals, Penny Billington spoke about being a tree, while trees and meditation dominated Philip Carr Gomm’s talk. Getting to meet him was a very big deal for me – OBOD has been a big part of my life for more than a decade now. It’s lovely when you think you know someone from online exchanges, and you meet them in person and they are very much as expected.
Music at camp was fantastic – during the day I experienced singing bowls with the awesome Bliss, and chanting – Enchanting the Void with JJ Middleway. Damh the Bard and Paul Mitchell provided some kickass evening sets. I was also blessed with an informal folk circle including the aforementioned Mr Mitchell, Penny and Arthur Billington, Talis Kimberly and clan, and an array of other people with fine singing voices. My own anarchic sound space on the Wednesday night was pure magic – due to the glorious contributions of a gathering of wild and inspiring people. Musically, the absolute highpoint for me was seeing my son get up on stage to sing as part of the eistedfodd, and being really good.
I also knitted a hare, wriggled past my own body awkwardness to follow Vishwam’s inspiring guided meditation, gently triumphed over my nudity issues and also worked out how to handle physical contact with people. There’s a lot to unpack from all of this.
I’ve struggled a lot with issues of belonging in the last six months or so especially. I come out of this week with a very keen sense of who my people are and where I fit. Alongside that I have a much clearer sense of what I want from Druid community. I know how to put a hand on the shoulder of people I don’t really know but who merit friendly gestures, how to reach out to people I like, how to throw myself unreservedly into the arms of the people I really care about, and how to keep the hell away from people who make me uncomfortable. There aren’t many people who belong in that last category.
I come out of this feeling a good deal clearer about what I need to be doing, and who I want to be doing it with.