The moment I arrived at my first rainbow gathering, I knew this was the place I´d been looking for my whole life. I felt at home in a way I hadn´t since my departure from Oneness into this Avatar called Meagan.
Just kidding (or am I?).
Seriously though, my time at my first national rainbow gathering, in the northern part of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, was a time of finding my place in the world, a sense of relaxation and fullness, maybe like how it feels when you find your true love or life purpose. The paths all intertwined in completely off-the-grid type ways, winding back into one another and leading you straight to your camp just when you though you were lost, or possibly guiding you to stumble upon pizza made in a stone and mud oven, or hippies singing naked on top of a wooden pirate ship. Here you could sit in the middle of the path asking for donations of small crystals, chocolate, or other valuable goods, and no one would arrest you or tell you to move it along. People would smile and make friends, and walk around you on the path.
I spent two and a half weeks at my first national rainbow gathering. When I left, my first shower lasted at least an hour before a fellow traveler knocked on the door saying it was their turn, and I didn´t know what to do because I´d never got out of a shower before with dirt still coming off me. I longed for a place like this to be always, a tribe and village following the philosophy of live and let live, where the paths aren´t based on cars or even bikes, but our very own feet and their relationship with the forest.
Little did I know at that time that permanent settlements of this nature really do exist in the world, and that one day I would follow a message from the Mystery to a small and sacred collection of them. This place is Lake Atitlan, or more specifically the towns nestled on the edge of it, with varying proportions of locals and foreigners looking to escape the western grind.
No, there aren´t many naked hippies (the influence of Catholicism here might hinder that), but there are people sitting in the streets bartering their wares (like a giant trade circle!). There are paths where no car tired can tread, where even tuk-tuks or bicycles find it difficult to pass. A few days after my arrival I discovered that this town is not nearly as big as I thought it was, because it winds back on itself, and I thought I was on drugs until I realized that this place knows no grid, it has grown organically, as all Earth-creations are wont to do.
Yesterday I cried as I walked through San Marcos, where the first path you walk on upon arrival by lancha is so obviously made for humans, not for cars or other machines. The cobblestones wind through the scattered restaurants and spiritual retreat centers like a peaceful stream, flowing through the path of least resistance.
Aaah surrender. This place isn´t perfect. The pollution here is devastating, but surely no worse than in the States. Its just hidden better in the States. There are lessons to learn from this place though, and I don´t know how I will return home now to the grid. What can I do? Surely the only logical thing to do is stand before city council and cry, sobbing that we must learn to organize our lives in ways that nourish our souls.
Who knows if this passion will still be that alive when I return, but here is one small record of the innate human response to living even a little closer to the land we are made of, set forth because the energy needed somewhere to go.
I post this as a prayer that all our souls may be nourished by the place we live, more and more each day, and that we remember our ability and response-ability to co-create that nourishing environment.
Amen, Blessed Be, Auuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.