How do we party at Willow House? Very, very well.
We mix rhythms, ritual, action, activity, friends, neighbors, paint, feathers, twigs, paper, music, plants, food, drink and dirt, to create a truly special experience.
Even in the hot humid day, the space under the willow was cool and refreshing. Our smallest guests played dress-up, and made magic wands and willow and flower circlets. My wife and I took advantage of everyone's attention being elsewhere to run errands, buying some hot-weather starts such as tomatoes and peppers, and replanting one raised bed. She also seeded a new bed, with our next crop of salad.
When I went to get the keg, the man helping me was in the worst mood. My good mood seemed to threaten him, but rather than drop into his expectation, I stood my ground. In fact, I even elevated it. I allowed beams of solstice goodness to flow, and by the end of our transaction 10 long minutes later he seemed to be in a much better state. And I was high enough that I didn't remember to buy ice until after I'd loaded the keg into the car.
Solstice goodness? What's that? One thing to celebrate is the completion of a work. One might also choose to acknowledge release from something: a negative habit, a limiting belief, or an expectation. We made firestarters with herbs, twigs, scrolls we'd written our intention upon, all dipped in wax melted in the solar oven.
Nick played for us on the new stage. Karl, Betsy, Jori, Nini and a few others worked hard to get it ready for the party. It looks great, and works great. This is what people did before television stole our souls: we entertained each other, we clapped for each other, we connected with each other.
Even when I had a full time job, even when paying the bills was easier, my life was impoverished. I've never really fit into the world of suburbia. I am so thankful to have become a part of this re-villaging we are undertaking. Am I ghetto? I'm helping to draw the best parts of several worlds together. It's like... like building and living in the Shire. Except without hobbits.
Even the view from the nosebleed section is wonderful. Christine sings French opera accompanied by Jen on the accordion.
Later, much later, after the sun finally set on the longest day of the year, the grown-ups busted out their dance moves. I got to initiate the catwalk as a dance platform. I danced out all my negative energy, pouring myself into movement. I thought I must be horrifying people because (I am unselfconscious or a huge, big goof) they all stopped dancing. They got off the stage. They stared up at me. I thought maybe I'd killed the party. But as the song ended, they all burst into applause. I guess I'd only commandeered the party briefly for my own catharsis.
"That willow tree will never be the same, after the way you just danced with it," said one woman.
"Yeah, I get that response from my dance partners a lot," I told her.
Liz, on the other hand, got everybody dancing and kept them going. She did such a good job that I completely forgive her for her repeated acts of musicus interruptus.
"Liz won the party," said Karl.