Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored Go Camping!"
From Wednesday through Sunday past, I was at an event at a campground called Four Quarters Farm. The event is called Drum and Splash.
Four Quarters Farm has an embarrassment of riches when it comes to swimming holes. The property has three.
The swimming holes account for the "splash" portion of Drum and Splash. The "drum" portion consists of classes and seminars built around drumming. Almost everyone brings fancy djembe drums, but this year I was also happy to find dumbek classes for clueless beginners. I mean, I know so little about my drum that the teacher had to show me how to hold it. And when he said that a whole major beat is created with one finger, I contemplated aborting the mission. Instead I'll practice, because drumming is a wonderful thing.
After dark at Four Quarters Farm, the staff builds a bonfire, and there's an open drum circle. People dance around the fire. This goes on until the last person stops for the night, which means sometimes the drumming goes right on to dawn. The fire spinners also come out and practice their moves in the meadow. Elsewhere there's a big tent for guitars and storytelling and singalongs.
The Grand Finale of this event is a celebration that begins with a parade of dragons, bellydancers, drummers, straw men, and stilt-walkers. After they march across the meadow, the fire-spinners come out. After them, big ol' fireworks shoot up into the clear mountain air. Then everyone pours into the drum circle for Masters performances and much more drumming and dancing.
I don't have a single photo of any of it.
Some people can live and take photos of the living as it's happening. I can't seem to do that. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 20th century, and photos were staged ("everyone say cheese").
You know, I would be feeling really geezerish if I could come home and Google this event and find 1,000 vivid photos, but the pictures just aren't there. Drum and Splash is a be-in. People are doing stuff. No one is looking through the lens of an IPhone. Even the teenagers sit and talk to each other. And the place isn't off the grid. My phone worked to make calls. I was just too busy to point and shoot.
I know I have said this before. If you are looking for a Pagan-friendly place to bring your children, or just to chill out yourself, you cannot do better than Four Quarters Farm. Put it another way. Do you have a closet full of tie-dye you can't wear? Shove it in a satchel and go to Artemas, PA.