On Beltane, halfway between the spring equinox and summer solstice, a few Mendocino coast ladies have been organizing a Maypole dance and ceremony on Big River Beach for the past several years. This year I got involved and we had perfect sunny weather to ring in summer with!
I had never participated in a Maypole dance before, and it was quite an experience, as you can see. It’s chaos at first, but eventually everyone gets in the rhythm and as the colorful pieces of fabric weave together, you circle around and around, seeing familiar faces with each rotation and weaving over and under each person you meet. The result is never perfect, but somehow more beautiful for its imperfection and texture. Each person’s piece of fabric is an interconnected part of a more beautiful whole, individual pieces grow difficult to distinguish but what they create together is far more interesting. Beltane reminded me what a vibrant, varied, fun, and loving community I live in.
We finished off the ceremony with a potluck, drum circle, music and, of course, fire spinning. What a beautiful evening! I am so grateful to live in a place that nurtures community and gathers to build beautiful things together. It was a wonderful demonstration of building community and expanding social circles, what a lovely gathering. I can already tell that this is going to be an amazing summer!