black mountain is emerald green this time of year. waves of tall hills, like floating in a green sea. spring air incandescent with early morning light, fog slipping in between the ridges.
full moon over the lake: orange, gold, then silver.
will got a grand new pavilion (quickly dubbed that Taj-Ma-Tent) and decorated it with Christmas lights on the inside.
an iridescent swarm of bubbles in kids village.
the women’s clothes get more splendid every season. slim, lithe contra dancers always turn out in droves for leaf, arrayed like exotic birds in whirling patchwork skirts of all colors and patterns and as little as possible on top – to better present their henna tattoos, of course. (it should be noted that they're not all fairytale jailbait - i also saw goth contra dancers. odd, but just as exotic. i surely don't know where they get those tights.)
even little girls have pretty flowing patchwork, tie-dye or batiked leaf dresses. mine wore her blue hippie skirt on saturday and let me put her hair in a topknot for a while. the pink hightop sneakers made the outfit, though – she didn’t take them off all weekend except to swim and sleep.
coz always finds new ways to display her moss green eyes and tiny waist. how she does it, i’m not sure – but it probably has to do with the wisdom of taking a shower early saturday.
yoga under the earth tent, twisting poses looking up, swaying green branches and fast-moving clouds against bright blue sky.
low-scale panic attack upon entering the festival friday night. culture shock? shyness? i don’t know. i parked the car and hiked to camp through the back-forty lot, reading the screamingly liberal bumper stickers (“critical thinking – a national deficit”) and felt some better when i got back to camp. dinner helped.
afternoon and evenings were hard. fatigue set in and my patience waned accordingly. duckie got overtired and way overstimulated. can’t blame her, really, but it was tough to manage her frustration and my own. trying to extract her from kids village, then drive home wilting with sleepiness – not the easiest thing in the world.
should have packed better for the weather – cold cold cold at night, couldn’t get warm until the sun came up. didn’t bring enough outerwear for me, not enough blankets for us in the tent. no heaters – which is silly, we have two propane heaters, a little one for the tent and a bigger one for general outdoor use. left them at home. duh.
staying dry during a wicked thunderstorm saturday night. thanks to the Taj-Ma-Tent, nothing was completely ruined. we dried out nicely come sunday morning.
sunday morning yoga was somehow difficult and soothing at the same time.
clear morning light after a night of storms, before walking feet kick up the dust, my daughter chasing aforementioned swarm of bubbles, screaming with laughter. one small perfect bubble wafting towards me to mark the moment. butterflies. (i shit you not, folks – butterflies, too.)
again the earth tent, half in and half out, in a full backbend, a sprinkling of rain on my upturned belly like a benediction.
never did score a contradance. we left duckie with some older kids for a little while back at camp (yeah, we knew them, and trust me, it was a better option than the leaf-sponsored child care alternative.) when we made it to brookside they were doing squares instead of lines. not my cup of tea; i don’t know why. got an awful sense of claustrophobia trying to escape from the hall.
poetry slam at eden hall; no music.
thunder and lightning; brian’s well-honed sinus cavity predicted rain in twenty minutes. coz and scott were under the mainstage lakeside tent with Cyril Neville rocking out with some massive funk. my hips picked it up and just as the dancing horde in front of the stage was starting to look really inviting, my focus was torn away by another spectacular light show and i knew it was time to go back up the hill to camp and be with my daughter. the rest of the night (the rain stopped after an hour or so) i was tempted to go back to lakeside, but was too scared of getting cold and staying that way – i had lost my only sweater at another campsite earlier and there was no hope of finding it in the dark. coz and scott returned later in mud up to their knees – it had turned into a swamp, they said, but they came back grinning.
we lost duckie (temporarily) friday evening after dark. she had started to wander off, brian and i exchanged a glance, he said “i’m on it.” he disappeared into the sea of tents, came back fifteen minutes later. “search parties,” he said shortly. “now.”
crap. i grabbed a flashlight and headed in the wrong direction. i stopped for a minute, quelled the panic, thought, where would i be going right now if i were duckie? oh that’s easy. down the hill to the dancing.
turned downhill, it immediately felt like the right direction. i started at a slow lope (all those damned tent lines) and hollered “duckie!” once.
“got her!” i heard will’s voice from a few yards down the hill.
“she said she was going dancing,” the campers who had her said. “we thought it would be better to have her hang with us for a while.”
small, positive, meaningful interactions with other leafers, especially parents.
chanting. yeah, i know. i’ve never thought of myself as a chanter either, but you know when fifty other people are sitting there with their thumbs on their third eyes, singing “om shanti shanti shanti” in full-throated harmony, reverberating like a Tibetan chorus under the acoustic umbrella of the earth tent, i didn’t feel nearly as silly as i thought i would. i felt uplifted, part of a something bigger and greater than myself: a shared kindness, compassion, awareness, and love.
two yoga classes. iyengar with cindy dollar. she's funny; i liked her a lot. enhancements to poses i already knew. in tree pose, push your foot and your leg against each other – “they love each other,” said cindy. “they never want to be apart.” managing to improve on poses that i didn’t even know needed improvement. a good technique for getting deeper into downward dog. cool yoga tricks. a lot of “ah ha!” moments.
flow yoga – vinyasa – with stephanie keach. intense and powerful. new poses, a renewed awareness that the strong muscles in my shoulders and upper back are holding so much tension that they don’t allow much movement. new spinal twists, new approaches to familiar poses. in child’s pose, a hand pressing down on my lower back to deepen the pose, massaging shoulders, not much caring about the sweat on my back, it seems. a deep sense of love from the teacher to the class, as individuals (directing a comment to the pregnant woman in her third trimester) and as a group (“where is your monkey mind going right now?”) or some magical combination thereof. emphasis on the spiritual practice of yoga.
learning that if there’s a tradition i prefer at the moment, it’s vinyasa. (stephanie keach has classes on saturday mornings at 11, which is a time i could actually manage.)
learning that there’s really no need to freak out if you’re late to a yoga class at leaf. for crying out loud, it’s leaf. if you’re late (which i was on saturday morning), put your mat down in the back and work gently into the class. (this after an anxiety dream on the cold friday night, about missing cindy’s class completely and having to do yin yoga at ten instead. i confessed this to coz and she gave me The Look, like “you’re kidding, right? for crying out loud, it’s leaf.” yeah, i know.)
i was Experienced Mama who told a New Mama at the shaving cream table, “hey, you know the shaving cream dries in like twenty minutes, and really it’s just soap anyway. you might not even have to change her clothes.”
i was Indulgent Mama, who let duckie strip off her skirt and play in lake eden’s shallow pool. (after the water snake evacuated the kids, that is.) she had panties on; we had a change of clothes, we were camping, you know? so no big deal. we both came out wet, because she didn’t exactly want to get out of the water. next time i’ll allow a couple of hours and a LOT of sunblock.
i was Weepy Mama, who was wished a happy Mother’s Day by perfect strangers, thinking, “yeah, that’s right, i’d forgotten about mother’s day. what a perfect way to celebrate it.”
i was Busy Mama, who whisked Duckie away Sunday morning for an attempt at family yoga (which was more kundalini than anything else – again, not my cup of tea.) we ended up sharing a leisurely breakfast of cheesy eggs, yummy French toast and grape juice, sitting on my yoga mat, looking out over the lake. then the Funky Monkeys comedy troupe, then more bubbles, shaving cream and hula-hooping.
i was Proud Mama, who was inordinately thrilled at watching duckie groove on the dance floor to crooked still, get about two hip shakes away from learning to hula-hoop, and sign for “wait” and “full” when we had our mother’s day breakfast.
i was Obnoxious Mama. when one of the jokesters in Funky Monkeys started off with “which state has the worst schools in the nation?” i piped up with “Texas!” (chuckles from the peanut gallery behind me.) the answer to the joke is actually “Flori-DUH.”
i was the At-Her-Wit’s-End Mama who knew it was time to leave sunday afternoon because i simply could not stand one more temper tantrum. fighting a screaming child into her carseat was preferable to staying any longer.
and finally, i am Deeply Satisfied Mama, who didn’t get presents for Mother’s Day – there wasn’t time for it. and that's perfectly ok and all right and groovy with me. after all, i have my daughter. without her, it wouldn’t have been much of a mother’s day at all.
i can always get the Cyril Neville cd some other time. :)
blessings from leaf to you.