I could talk about the Maypole, nearly 30 feet tall and and festooned with nearly a mile of ribbon.
Or the Full Moon ritual featuring Isis, Hathor and Osiris, accompanied by drumming and the haunting vocals of Wendy Rule. Or the wanderers, who showed up with nothing but what they were wearing, trusting that they would be fed and sheltered.
I could talk about the workshops, or the vendors.
I could talk about the unexpected friendliness and sense of community. I could talk about the consternation when people realized that there was no cellphone reception in the valley. I could talk about the sense of coming home that I felt in the midnight sweat lodge. The chagrin of finding out that my air mattress had leaks and was missing a valve cap. The thankfulness that the teepee had a fairly comfortable couch.
I could talk about the peacocks. About the last thing I expected to find at a cattle ranch turned campground. Proud and elegant, they sauntered around the valley, roosted in the trees, peered into tents, and screamed their lovely blue heads off. One legend says that peacocks scream when they see the extreme ugliness of their feet. These peacocks seemed to scream in echo of any loud voice.
"People, please gather in a circle" scream!
"Welcome to Beltania 2009!" scream!
"We call upon the powers of the East" scream!
And so on, thoughout the weekend. Day or night, it made no difference. That haunting, mournful cry resounded through the valley.
On Friday evening, a moth landed on Najah's purse strap. I coaxed it onto my finger, where he sat for about a minute before flying off into the dusk.
On Saturday evening it rained, and a little frog took refuge in our teepee. He seemed rather affronted when we came in, but was quiet and cooperative when Dee scooped him up and put him outside. Saturday was also the night I learned that one can never have enough dry socks, that waterproof boots would have been a good thing to pack, and that nothing dries out in a leaky wooden teepee.
Sunday morning was still drizzly and wet. The cooks slept through their prep time, having been partying along with the rest of us the night before. Sensible people that they were, they made the coffee first.
I packed up my stuff, hugged old and new friends goodbye, and headed back home. The peacocks screamed as I drove through the gate.