Finding Joy Where You Are

It’s been a hectic and crazy autumn thus far. I wasn’t sure I was coping very well. Between grieving and stress and hormones and lack of down time, I wasn’t in the joyful space where I wanted to be.

Then it was fair and festival time. Two of the past three weekends I’ve spent outdoors, drumming & performing with Dark Follies and camping out. It’s the best thing that could have happened to me. Sure, leading up to the events, they seemed to add to my stress. I had to get cold-weather camping gear ready, prepare meals, and get a bunch of tasks done early so I could be away for a few days. But once I got there, I discovered my joy was closer to hand than I’d thought.

This weekend at a music festival in rural western Maine, I found my center and a new level of awareness.

festival

Even a rainy day at the festival is full of joy. The distant mountains lie hidden behind the clouds…

I’d gotten up at 5am on Friday to take Dryst to a homecoming pep rally. Whose bright idea is it to get overtaxed teens up even earlier to pump up their school spirit when they should be sleeping? Dryst thought it was dumb, too, but he loves to play soccer, so he had to show up. After that, I came home at 8:30am and BlackLion, ElvenTiger and I packed up to hit the road.

The festival was fun, and we drummed and danced and talked to cool people. ElvenTiger did her fire-spinning thing with the fire collective. We stayed up late that night to see a friend’s band play – at 3am. So, yeah, I was up 23 hours straight.

I got up after 6 hours of sleep and started all over again. I intended to get a nap, but when there’s so much fun stuff going on…well, it didn’t happen. Saturday was cloudy and misty, and after a potluck dinner with my troupe, I decided to lie down for a little while before drumming for the fire spinners. That’s when the rain started in earnest, and it lulled me to sleep.

There I was, by myself in the tent on the side of a mountain in a gorgeous fae-touched place, raindrops dripping from the trees, music in the distance. I had the best sleep I’d had in a long time. And when I woke up, I had time to muse and ponder and reflect. There was nothing to do, while the rest of my people slept or got ready for the day. I wandered the hill, watching the community awaken slowly, looking at the gorgeous autumn landscape as the sun emerged from the clouds. I sat on the grass and wrote in my journal. I took off my shoes and felt the grass under my feet. I grinned at people as Dark Follies led the final parade that afternoon. I gave and received lots of hugs. I was at peace.

I’ve found my joyful presence. Not that I miss Jenn any less, or that my problems have all magickally disappeared. But I’ve found acceptance, and remembered the blessings of just being in the moment.

Coming back to everyday life and the ever-present to-do list, I’ve carried that new knowing with me. My Word of the Year for 2014 is ENJOY, after all. I’ve tapped into it more fully than before.

I know I’ll forget again. I’m human. We’re here to learn and grow. But now I have new clues and insights into my joy and where it resides. It’s right here within me, where my energies touch those of nature, and music, and open-hearted people. I’m thankful.

 


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