We gathered under the redwoods in Ben Lomond. We were few, but somehow that only gave more power to what we experienced. There was time for deep conversation, and to learn from one another in a way that the excitement and energy of a larger group doesn’t always make room for.
Workshops included drumming; alchemical, Afro-Cuban and Middle Eastern, disaster preparedness, a Druid’s version of a Book of Shadows, a backyard Druid segment, a native plant session, and a detailed exploration of the magic of redwoods. We co-created a ritual based largely on the redwoods, and shared song and story in an Eisteddfod around the campfire. Our last night we let technology give us the best of both worlds as our Digital Druid gave us music and we all donned our best black and red to dance and celebrate all we had done together.
It was a chance to experience quiet time in a beautiful setting, to walk under trees and put our feet on the living earth. The forest was a wonder of trees allowed to find their own way on land that is stewarded by people who have taken the time to stop, sit, and listen to the spirits of this place, and build with it. There are beautiful ponds that reflect the trees above, and winding trails that lead to camping spots that are welcoming as well as beautiful. It is a place that I was glad to spread my roots out in and rest, if only for a weekend. I returned home energized, with plenty to think about and a renewal of my sense of purpose. I know what I need to do, and while the list of tasks is long, I’m filled with anticipation, and eager to continue the work of the weekend, here in the urban forest of Oakland, where my work presently lies.