To Camp Beer Tree with Love
This is not a festival recap. This is not a rehearsal of the adventures, a review of the music, the setting, the art, the food, the...magic. That would be too much. Just tag along next year and see for yourself.
Rather, this is a rumination. A practice of gratitude.
What happens when you take yourself out of your usual environment? When you leave your daily life at home and find yourself in a forest, twinkle-lights guiding your path, friendly faces at every turn, and music floating through the air from what sounds like every direction?What happens when you trade business casual for glitter and allow yourself to feel every bit as magical as you look? When you camp with the same people year after year, invest in their lives, trust them, and spend a year looking forward to seeing them again?
I can tell you what happened to me. The stress I hold so tightly in my shoulders, lower back, and behind my eyes began to melt away. The worry of fitting a meal into a busy day - often opting for a quick snack instead - was replaced by reveling the taste of food after working up an appetite dancing. I listened to music with people, rather than in isolation, walled off by my headphones. I stayed up late, laughing and talking, and slept well under the stars.
Pickathon does more than present music, art, and food for attendees' enjoyment. That alone would be pretty good, but every year, my experience at Pendarvis Farm is much more complex. What they've done is crafted an opportunity to connect with yourself and with others. Pickathon gives people a chance to revel in the moment of their life in an extended fashion. To close their eyes and breathe in the goodness. The music, art, dancing, food, and beautiful setting are powerful conduits for the even bigger magic of transcending the version of ourselves we rely on for day to day survival. What you get to see and experience at Pickathon is fucking incredible. The consequences of that experience have the power to change how you feel about yourself, and how you live in the world... if only for a weekend.
Let us find the perspective and wisdom to know that sometimes,
the hangover is worth it.
Let us bring a small bit of magic home with us,
and sneak it into our daily lives.
Let us trust the goodness of strangers,
even inviting them into our proverbial "camps."
Let us close our eyes and enjoy our lives.