Friday, April 11, 2008

San Diego's Rainbow Back to Basics Circle Round 1

So Sunday was the first day we held the Back to Basics Circle.

We were small in number, but in true Rainbow Magic the San Diego
version of Glowing Feather or Diamond Dave showed up and joined us.
Now mind you, this man had never heard of Rainbow before (or open mikes
for that matter), but he held hands with us as we circled,
then let loose with some beautiful love and spirit filled poetry raps
that would challenge the best the gathering has to offer
and he was a 40 to 50 year old self professed virgin.

He sat with us in circle and shared thoughts and ideas in
poetic rap format. Amazing. And very mystical. He apparently
lives near the park and there's been a Rainbow Circle in
that approximate location for over ten years and yet
the first time he connected with us was to join the
Back to Basics Circle.

My hope for Sunday's circle was to talk about the importance
of non-tangible connections and energies in creating
a safe, fun and meaningful gathering for everyone. To that
end, I told a story from the last Wyoming gathering in 1994.
A beautiful sister suggested that lots of people are more
plugged into the Internet than the park and that I should
make this story available electronically, so here goes.

The 1994 Wyoming gathering was in a beautiful bowl shaped
meadow with a creek running through it. Unfortunately, there
was no rain. And things got dry. Very dry. And the fire danger
rose. Family counciled on how to handle the situation. We
talked a lot about root fires and evacuation routes and how
to fight a fire. Not that fighting is very Rainbow, but
sometimes... Fire patrol was in full force and 5 gallon
buckets of water and shovels were the most commonly spoke
about tools.

The general plan was that should a fire break out, those
prepared to fight were going to put on boots, long pants
and long protective shirts and head towards the fire with all
the buckets, shoves and axes they could carry. Everyone
else would evacuate into the meadow and follow the creek
down hill and out of the area.

A few small fires erupted here and there but were always
adjacent to a camp and were put out as fast as they started.

So one day I'm sitting in a Southern California family council
and the call of fire rings out. We stop what we're doing and
my friend and I run back to our tents. Put on our boots
and jeans. We grab shovels and all the buckets we can find.

Then we head up the hill, which seems to be the way everyone
was going. Things were a bit chaotic at first as first people
were running up the hill along the trail, then turning back,
then running up, then turning back. I later found out
that there were some people who felt it was too dangerous
for gatherers to fight a forest fire, but in the end that
big loving beautiful rainbow can do attitude won out
and we all charged up the hill.

This was not a little fire. This was a fire in dry trees.
A real forest fire and I had never been near one before,
let alone helped to put one out.

As we ran up the trail, there was a small tree and four or
five old men with long grey hair and long grey beards dressed
all in flowing white clothes holding their hands up to the sky.
"Om for the wind to stop," they called out. "Om for the wind to stop."

My friend and I stopped, looked at each other and scoffed. We
had a forest fire to fight, we didn't have time to Om. So we
continued up the hill and joined the bucket brigade. Hundreds
of people passing five gallon buckets of water from the creek
below up to the fire above. Some of them naked or next to naked.
Others covered up a bit more. Sparks flying. Ash everywhere.

At some point after things were settling down a bit and
the fire seemed to be somewhat contained, the Forest Service
brought in a plane to drop fire retardant on the area that had
burned. I was able to get some great photos of the drop.

After that we just kept slinging the buckets full of water. Family
came by with food and passed zu zus and water up and down
the line. A beautiful magical crew came by and gave five minute
shoulder and neck massages - thank you beautiful family, it was wonderful.

And then it was over and we were drop dead exhausted and collapsed
into bed. I didn't hear that night or the next, but at some
point I heard that all the people in the know: family with experience
in forest fires, the Forest Service resource people, and others
that the only reason we, meaning family on the ground working our butts off,
were able to contain the fire was because the wind, unexpectedly and
unusually, died down.

Just some food for thought.

So join us every Sunday in April and May, 1 PM in Balboa Park
at the usual place except for April 20th - the day of the huge
Earth Fair and the huge drum circle by the Museum of Art.

As always,

Be the peace you want to see in this world.


Please distribute freely.

No comments: