For the past five years – everyone has heard me bitching and moaning about the need for cohesive community here in my local area. I am extremely envious when I see photos of what other local Pagan communities are doing. I am thrilled to read the wonderful stories that come out of other Pagan Pride Days. I can no longer be envious and watch other communities holding wonderful Pride Days…and continue to wish for it to happen here in my local community. BECAUSE IT HAPPENED HERE YESTERDAY AND IT WAS AWWWWEEE-SOME!
As I had mentioned in the last post – I was a late-comer to the Planning Committee for this year’s Pagan Pride Day. I was welcome with open arms and made to feel like I had been part of the event planning from the very beginning. The group of people I have had the distinct pleasure of helping to make this event go with – they have been nothing short of a fantastic pleasure. There were bumps along the way, but nothing that was insurmountable. And when those moments occurred, everyone rolled up their sleeves and helped to push the sled over those hills. From the beginning, the purpose of the event was to bring something to fruition for the Community. And it happened. I cannot tell you the joy I have in my heart to have seen all the volunteers – both with the Planning Committee and with other volunteers who offered their time to assist in making this event go…the joy I have in my heart to have seen those people laughing, meeting friends that they had not seen, working together to make things go…seeing all of them (myself included) enjoying themselves…that was an awesome sight.
But that was nothing compared to what I saw from my local community. I talked with total strangers who came to the Information Booth – some multiple times – to tell me and the others located there that this was a fantastic event. I witnessed (and shared in) hug after hug from people who came from all over for the event. The happiness I saw on their faces was an immeasurable thing. The three of us that were in and out of the Information Table area were riding high on the glowing, positive energies we felt from these folks. It was amazing. And from the Information Table location, we witnessed all three of the rituals (we were just up the hill from the location) – and each of them were just astounding. We could hear the rituals all the way up the hill – even over the sound of the Carter Blood Mobile that was located on site ( I will get to that in a moment). The energies coming off those rituals was amazing – particularly the closing ritual which was a Cernunnos oriented ritual performed by the Denton CUUPs group. The mid-day ritual had a tinge of mist coming off the lake, as the weather cooled considerably faster than the lake did. The effect was astounding to witness.
There were many charities on-site, and my heart was completely melted by the generosity that I witnessed. A canned food drive was in progress at the Information Booth – and I watched as donation after donation went into the rubber-maid wheeled bucket. *UPDATE* 110 Pounds of Food Were Collected for the Soup Mobile This Year!” The Carter Blood Mobile was also nearby, and I watched several folks go in and give a pint of blood. It was truly fantastic to watch my local community give so much. *UPDATE* From the DFW Pagan Pride Day FB page: “A total of 51 people will be helped because 17 blood donors stepped forward yesterday!” AWESOME!!!!
As I was working the event as a volunteer, I did not get a lot of chance to do the things that I had wanted – attend workshops, attend the rituals, or run around with my hand-held recorder asking for impressions of the event for the podcast. That’s alright though. I saw folks I have not seen in many, many years. I saw friends who I had lost touch with. I made new friends from complete strangers. I even saw a few of the podcast’s listeners (who came all the way to the event from far Ft. Worth!). Next year’s event (yes – there will be another one next year!) will be in Fort Worth – and I plan on being a little more into the events. But I really enjoyed playing my self-described role as “foot soldier for the cause” – it allowed me to be in multiple areas throughout the day…where I had a chance to interact with so many more people.
This morning….my body HURTS. I carried lots of stuff. I ran all over the place taking care of things. I even wore a yellow-canary tshirt which identified me as a volunteer for the event (yellow is NOT my color). It was an amazing event. The people behind the scenes were completely amazing. The people who attended the event were astounding. In front of my eyes…I saw community happening! I watched people from different Spiritual Paths not only interact with one another, but completely enjoying those interactions. And I cried. I cried tears of joy and happiness. If you scratch hard enough – just beneath the surface, we found that community we all have wanted. Its been there all the time…and its a real joy to see it flourishing out in the open.
The little seed has sprouted again. Now, we nourish it and help it to flourish.