Before Sherwood Celtic Music Festival opened for this season, that Saturday morning I was making my rounds saying hello and thanking the vendors and all for participating. Believe me, it’s important to thank the artisans and artisans because many times the weather or lack of attendance weigh heavy on them…as this is their livelyhood (and on that note, please realize we have attempted to minimize the number of importers and retailers within the faire to encourage independent crafters…even though in historic accuracy there were peddlers back in the middle ages, as well, who travelled afar and sold their wares they had purchased from foreign lands).
Well, back to my story…
So, as I am walking, I came to Klaus Weiland, a musician, hippie and artisan getting his booth ready for the Celtic Music Festival that was to open soon.
I thought he was of German birth…and events regarding the flood of immigrants from war-torn Syria wanted to me to tell him that I was so impressed with the numbers his home country had indicated they were willing to take in as refuges—a staggering number in comparison to Great Brittan and other European countries…as well as the almost non-existent number our own country had committed to. Germany’s Prime Minister has said Germany is prepared to absorb up to 800,000 refugees. Nothing short of amazing.
Anyway, the conversation went longer than planned. We talked about Germany’s past. We spoke about the fact that the USA has yet to truly embrace the horrors of its own past relative to Native Americans and African Americans and other ethnic minorities. We spoke of our travels. He went on his own pilgrimage along the ancient Silk Road some 15 years before I trekked across Europe and parts of northern Africa at the end of the 80s. We spoke about the true wonder and beauty of people—less the corruption and power-centered focus of governments.
We spoke of consciousness—that life of thought that permeates the universe. The Big Bang. The reality that there are multiple universes and realities all happening about us. We spoke of why we both found our way to faire because of the people, the values, the simplicity.
And then I went off on a tangent, as too often I do, about the grounds, Sherwood, its sacredness to me. Everything from the importance of the Seven Sisters and the rituals we have created around the rocks. About the pond that exists on the outskirts of the land that still is home to beavers. About the fact that some of the earliest maps of Texas show that pond and a creek that starts on the property fed underground that keeps water flowing 365 days a year regardless of drought.
It was a beautiful and enlightening, but too brief, discussion with Klaus. As I walked away, I turned and said, “Klaus, you know, these discussions, these kinds of interactions, are the primary reasons Sherwood was created.”
Sherwood is a sacred place. It is a place where people feel they can come not only to drink and play and experience diverse forms of entertainment, but it is a place people can come to bring their ideas, their inner selves, their souls…
Sherwood is a place that is much more than faire or gatherings or all the musical and theatrical acts. It is a physical and spiritual place where we can find our center in the midst of a chaotic and disenchanting “real world”.
It is the home Gual and Hazelnut. It is the place Kevin and Stacey Breaux come to volunteer more than most anyone knows. Where Alan Cameron has dedicated so much. Where individuals and couple have tried their hand at being a merchant…even in the coldest of faire days…and have stuck through the sometime disappointing attendance numbers because Sherwood is something different.
It’s where clans have found their place in the woods.
It’s where Autouloucous has brought together perfect combinations of actors and musicians and given of his heart in a hundred thousand ways. It’s where Andy Perry has since the beginning brought us Friar Tuck.
It’s where the legend of a lesser lord of Merry old England gave up his life of grandeur to challenge corruption…while the kind was away fighting in the Holy Lands.
It’s about Vallhala and Celtic Rogues.
It’s about fire spinning and solstice ceremonies.
It’s about Brian and George who have given so much to a dream.
It’s about the very thing Klaus and I spoke briefly about—the wonderment and magic and cosmic gift of consciousness.
If you have yet to experience Sherwood on a very personal basis, I invite you to take time to look beyond the façade (and let me assure you, the façade is only a veil and is easily penetrated), and open your spirit to the true wonderment of Sherwood. The trees are alive. They speak. The ground—it breathes. The souls that permeate the land are crying out for you to become a part of its celebration of life.