Monday, May 15, 2023

Spoutwood Says Goodbye Sometimes

 Ah, Spoutwood, Spoutwood! Home of the first and biggest fairy festival! We at “The Gods Are Bored” salute you and daub a tear from the eye.


The May Day Fairie Festival at Spoutwood Farm was held at a private property (Spoutwood) until 2019. The weekend event – spiritual if you wanted spirituality, silly fun if you wanted that, music and drumming if you wanted that – outgrew its location at long last. Since 2019 it has been held at two different venues near Baltimore.


As with any community, the dedicated Spoutwood volunteers have become like family over the years. We have watched children grow up from tots to tweens to teens to twenty-somethings. We’ve developed real bonds and genuine care for one another. Anyone who says the only place you can achieve that kind of agape love is in church, well. Either Spoutwood is a church, or agape can develop among people who are like-minded and willing to show other people how to have a good time.



As far as I can count, the 2023 May Day Fairie Festival was my 18th year in attendance. And just as those tots have turned to twenty-somethings, I have moved along from Mother to Crone. The walking, the dancing, even the shouting, has become more difficult. And yes indeed, my enthusiasm has waned as I pine for dear Spoutwood Farm, even though this year’s venue was breathtaking.


For many years I built my whole spring around Spoutwood. This year, when I set out on Saturday morning to drive to the event, I realized I had forgotten my dragon, Big Red. I had forgotten the small Mountain Tribe banner hanging in my spare room. I had forgotten earrings, for crying out loud. I only brought the one costume I was wearing. And my energy level – more and more it’s non-existent in May – was almost underground.



All three of you long-timers here at “The Gods Are Bored” might recall that I have been leader of the Mountain Tribe for about 15 years. Oh my bored Gods, how I have loved doing Mountain Tribe! But time marches on. When one forgets her dragon and her earrings, it’s time for a change.


And so I decided to step down from Mountain Tribe. I had a person in mind to replace me, and when I asked him to do it, he got tears in his eyes. The beauty of this festival is that there’s a whole new generation of young people who are willing to put in the hard work to organize and run it. One of those people is now the new leader of Mountain Tribe.


And so, at the Sunday ceremony, I formally removed my Mountain Tribe insignia (which somehow I didn’t forget) and gave it to the new leader. I thought I too might cry, but I didn’t. In fact I felt quite happy to see this young man, with all his devotion, take over something I have loved for such a long time.



The new location for the May Day Fairie Festival is waterside, Chesapeake Bay views with a rocky point and a sweet, small beach. But time after time I found myself daydreaming about Spoutwood Farm, in the rolling Piedmont hills just before Appalachia, how green everything is there, that bright golden green of early spring so beloved by the poets. And I thought about the folks who were in Mountain Tribe there who live in that area and didn’t make the journey to the new location.


It’s time for this magnificent festival to continue without me. Its future is bright.


Being a part of Spoutwood has deeply enriched my life. But Spoutwood says goodbye sometimes. And I wave, and blink back tears, and move on down the line.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Well, after 18 years of dedicated attendance and your almost-as-long leadership of the Mountain Tribe, no one can say you didn't pull your weight! I'm glad you found a new leader to take over the Mountain Tribe and I'm sure he'll be excellent. Yes, things move on and sometimes it's time to say goodbye and strike out on a new, fresh path. It's real wisdom to know when that time has arrived.

What is next for you, Anne? I know you mentioned LARPing a few posts ago and (if memory serves) some kind of Dungeons & Dragons involvement. Or perhaps that was the same thing?

e said...

Knowing when to say 'when' is a sign of wisdom. The beauty of it is the continuation of the traditions that you love. Bittersweet, perhaps, but your words sound like you are clear in your decision. And, just because you are no longer the leader doesn't mean you are not still a part of Mountain Tribe. That is a lifelong heart connection. Well done, Anne.
Here's to future fairy festivals or whatever soul enriching fun you can find along the way!

yellowdoggranny said...

I know that must have hurt...but you did the right thing. you knew you were ready.
I am the same way with cooking for meals on wheels on Friday. I'm nearly 80..I' older than the ones I am cooking for.Fork me I'm dont..

Chas S. Clifton said...

Well, good, in the long-term sense. I've seen some excellent events lurch to a halt because no one prepped the younger generation to take over.