Gathering around the fire

Yesterday was a day of sun, running, laughing, eating, loving, hugging, and music-making.

My dear friends from Patchy Sanders and my other darling friend Krista newly live in a beautiful palace. It is spacious, with hardwood floors, bright windows, tile everywhere, and a dream kitchen. The best part about the house is the yard. It is large, with a chicken coop in the back, raised beds with baby lettuces, a cob oven, a little meditation/music hut, a hammock, a little kid playhouse, and Ashland Creek running cooly in the back. And, last night, lots of loving glowing beautiful people, smiling and eating food and loving each other.

They were there because Ian and Dani and Krista hosted a housewarming party. The day began at 1 pm, when 16 of us met up at a nearby field for ultimate frisbee and kickball. We ran our butts off and I feel fairly certain I wasn’t the only one who came home that night with a pretty nasty sunburn. It was so glorious that we decided to meet up every Wednesday at 7 pm to play a game. Just show up and play, no Internet intervention or planning or texting.

We trooped back to the house, tired and thirsty, and started in on the crisp, bubbly beers that awaited us. Dani and Ian got to making mass amounts of pizza crusts and sauce while Dan grated mountains of mozzarella and extra-sharp cheddar. Eowyn ran about like a little fairy and I cuddled up with Elizabeth to really catch up. We ate all kinds of salads and drank more beer. Then there was the pizza building station and the line to the oven when you could meet new friends. And the eating of the pizza…and the return to the building station and the line and the oven and the pizza in the mouth…

Eventually it became dark, just as one of the friends made a fire with pitch and two crafted sticks. Myself on violin plus six guitars around the circle welcomed the fire with haunting music in e minor, soft and gentle. Eventually the song died out as the fire gained strength. I was feeling warm from the sunburn, happy squeezed between good friends, bubbly from the beer, and full.

There was a softly crowning moment to this evening. Our friend Peia picked up her charangon and started singing (creating?) a song about all of us gathered around the fire, praying and grateful. I was plucking slow scales, up and down and up and down, and her voice was so incredibly angelic and soft and stirring that I felt it touch the hurt place in me, the soft, wounded, vulnerable middle of myself, and I felt it could heal that place, I felt I could let it in and it could transform that hurt place, slowly.

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