I was there with my Eco friendly goodies stall. I arrived in the early evening after work with Jay to put up my tent and gazebo. It had been a glorious day but somehow the weather knew we would be grappling with long poles and guy ropes and decided to conspire against us launching gusty winds that whipped under the canvass and made the simplist of tasks a pain in the ass. We got fed up with the tent after a while as the poles seemed far to long for the fabric and we got frustrated as I hadn't quite read the instructions right! I suggested I sleep in the gazebo instead and worry about the tent the next day. Unfortunately whilst trying to open up the gazebo, it broke in two places. It was one of those green Halfords things that doesn't cost huge amounts of money but when the weather is good they are great. However they are not terribly strong and unless you open them up carefully they break at the struts.
So back to the tent which we managed to erect in no time once we remembered which poles to bend first.
Having piled the broken gazebo into the back of his Land Rover ready for the dump, Jay left me to settle in ready for the next day when the event opened.
Gaunts House dates as far back as 1355 and is now under the care of The Richard Glyn Charitable Foundation Ltd. The Foundation seeks realisations of life through widsom teachings, mindfulness, conscious awareness and pure intent in thought, expression and action. This is the backdrop then to the Summer Gathering.
Over 4 days the gathering offers visitors who either camp or attend as day visitors, a range of workshops and experiences ranging from shaminic trance postures, yoga, dumming, soundbaths, Qi Gong and rebirthing amongst other things. There is a market place with a range of lovely stalls including mine and some great food concessions to ensure we don't go hungry.
Each evening there is a selection of wonderful music, dancing and entertainment and the opportunity for impromptu singing, chanting or general discussion on life, around the fire pit. For the hardy types there is an outdoor swimming pool and then the opportunity to warm up in the yurt saunas, (or the other way around even) !
There is something other worldly about the summer gathering. Children run around freely whooping excitedly and seeming carefree whilst their parents absorb the atmosphere and seem far removed from the day jobs. People are genuinely friendly and interested in each other there is a common thread of care that runs through every one. Its a brief glimpse of Utopia and a reminder that amidst all the randomness and mayhem of the world it is possible to just be who we are without having to fit into any box or be attached to any label. The Summer Gathering offers an opportunity to experience an atmosphere far removed from one's every day life.
This was my second visit to the Summer Gathering and the friends I made last year were here again. I also made some new friends and met some amazingly interesting people each with wonderful stories and expeiences to share. Next year I can add my own experience.
On Friday evening I was sitting with Mary and Andrea and we were just chatting and enjoying the atmosphere when a young woman approached us. She was wearing a belly dancing outfit having just bought it from one of the stalls. She was thrilled and said she would be wearing it for the entertainment later on. She'd had a couple of beers and was full of life and made us hoot as she had bought a garland for her hair from Mary's stall and was in need of a hair brush. I lent her my brush so she could back comb her hair for the garland to sit on like a tiara. She explained she was a hairdresser so she knew what she was doing. I asked if she had her scissors with her as I needed my fringe cut! She said if I could find a pair then she'd oblige. "Are these any good?" I said, picking up a pair from the table in Mary's tent. Without a moments hesitation whilst sitting in a field, the tipsy girl in the belly dancing costume had trimmed my fringe saying, "Trust me I'm a hairdresser!"
Well as you can imagine we fell about laughing acknowledging that this was the Summer Gathering and that anything can happen and usually does!
My little eco stall at Gaunts Summer Gathering