Avalon Rising - Love Stories & Re-kindling Community

“Take aim, rebel, dismantle. Sustain new relationships with the planet and the people around you. Construct a new heart, a new love story. It is the only way that we can re-member the world around us into a shape that will keep us well” 

Through mutual friends Petra and I were invited to become part of the Avalon Rising team for the Green Gathering 2014, to share our work in sound and story.  Here are some thoughts and experiences that occurred to me during those five beautiful days of sunshine, rain and wind on a promontory in Chepstow overlooking the River Severn.

“We arrived together as individuals, couples, children, adults, old and young, to discuss and express our vision of community, to talk matters of the heart, to find communion with others and not feel so alone.  I came, I think, because I wanted to find ‘tribe’, people that thought as I did, wanted to rebel as I did, wanted to discuss alternative ways of living, saw the universe in a different light, an alternate shade. During those few days I encountered the re-kindling of community, as rooted in the Greek word ‘communitas’ that expresses a sharing of feelings and emotions, and the laying of foundation stones for a new way of living together.

Into that experience I offered the sharing of love stories.  To share a love story involves the telling of a persons intimate heart, the things that make them them, their emotional inheritance. It is hard, takes courage, needs patience. We shared in a nature dome, amongst the dirt and the leaves with passers by, fidgeting children, luminous stewards, old souls, new found friends.  We shared amidst rain showers and amongst the lanterns of the fairly glen at night. Every story told helped re-kindle community, drew people closer, took people to the realms of their heart and led others there too.   

I spoke to many people during our long weekend together. I felt shy and often needed courage to talk.  Sometimes I wanted to hide away in our tent.  Although I appear confident, it is just a mask and I find talking difficult, I worry.  But the openness of others drew me out and I felt a profound sense of love towards this ramshackle group of people I was amongst.  Thank you.  I found so much inspiration in their creative bravery, the imagination, their intuitive reaction to the earth, to spirit.  I experienced the realm of angels. I saw people digging from where they stand, talking nutrition, mushrooms, rattles, Tesla, pilgrimage, debt, music and so on. I laughed hard and danced with loved ones and strangers in bandannas. I caught a ride in Tilly. I drank chai tea and had a hot shower in the cold rain.

In a visit to Erlestoke Prison last year I experienced the antithesis of love, the endgame of seperation. In a field in Chepstow I experienced the opposite.”     M.N Hopwood August 2014