Old Teen Essays
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Article ID: 10096
Age Group: Adult
Posted: July 3rd. 2005
Midsummer's Haven in the Woods
The day dawned a shimmering gray with tiny patches of blue sky visible through diaphanous clouds. Father Sun peeked coyly in and around the clouds – as if teasingly reminding us that it’s his party and he’ll come out if he wants too.
My co-host Roni and I entered the Patapsco State Park and drove slowly through the winding scenic road toward our pavilion - admiring the pastoral beauty. The lush silent green of the abundant trees and the occasional glimpses of the rushing Patapsco River seemed crisp and vibrant in the early blue-gray light.
We arrived at the pavilion and parked – savoring the still and quiet beauty, interrupted only by the occasional birdcall and the lullaby-like sound of the swirling river. We stepped into the cool vastness of the rustic stone pavilion that was nestled into the trees with a perfect view of the river. The natural stone structure with it’s peaked roof and huge fireplace was amazing. The views through any of the stone columns revealed the forest splendor. It had such an overwhelming and otherworldly atmosphere that we had to orient ourselves back to the present and the tasks at hand. We were definitely the only humans present at that moment!
We set about quickly to prepare the pavilion for the day’s event and within a few hours it was transformed into “Midsummer’s Haven”. While the Sun teased and threatened to be a no-show, the inside of the pavilion was glowing with the colors of golden summer. Gold tablecloths covered the many wood tables with yellow citrus candles placed upon each one – casting a warm glow. We created a beautiful artscape by framing out one area riverside with trailing vines of sunflowers and greenery. Gold and silver wind twisters were hung and a huge vase of sunflowers and yellow and white candles and gnome and fae statuary placed here and there completed the tableau.
Near the band’s stage area we created a curtain-like backdrop for the band – varying lengths of red and yellow streamers that fluttered in the breeze with a large gold sun hung in the middle. Candles and more sunflowers were placed in the huge fireplace and candles tucked around here and there completed the decorations.
Just in time because our first guest arrived promptly at the start of the event. It was not long before more guests began to arrive and soon the sharing table was crowded with many goodies. Lovely faery music filled the pavilion as we fired up the grill. Revel Moon arrived and began to unload and set up for their performance. Soon the smell of grilled meat reminded us of our empty stomachs and everyone feasted til they could eat no more.
Our good friend Karen coordinated games and supervised the children – sending the older ones off to one area while tending to the wee ones in another. All the kids participated in the fun and games and each child received a prize. A few of the older children as well as a few adults took advantage of the cool river and frolicked among the rocks, occasionally ducking into the water.
Soon it was time for the band’s first set and a reason to relax and enjoy dessert and entertainment.
The band kicked off with “Temptation”, followed by “Bitter” , “Ladychant”, “Orphan” and “Brick by Brick”. They sounded great – and I noticed people pausing as they passed the pavilion to enjoy the music! During “Fire and Water”, the sky began to darken considerably. During the last song of the set “Wake up and Be” as soon as Irene sang the lyrics “rain down”, the sky opened up and the rain just sort of poured down…..it was all very surreal, very ethereal. I was grateful that we were all tucked under cover of the large pavilion. I glanced out at the parking lot and noticed there were still people standing in the rain listening to the band. What a testament to how amazing their performance was!
While the band took a short break, it was time to announce the raffle winners. The day’s raffle was an opportunity to win one of many prizes offered with one $5 ticket. With the help of my son and most of the children, including my granddaughter Raven, we pulled each ticket and each winner was allowed to select one prize from the table. It was fun and interesting to see the competition for the prizes as each person made their selection. Every person who bought a ticket won a prize and all proceeds went to Revel Moon for their performance.
After the raffle, the band took to the stage again for their second set. They began with one of my personal favorites “L.A. Woman”, followed by “Babylon”, “Sevatividam” and “Persephone”. For the encore, they performed “Ladychant” again per request and my friend Steve was able to capture the final set on video.
They finished just as the event was due to end – although we all just sort of sat around for a little bit while the band broke down the equipment and began loading out. The day passed so swiftly and there was so much preparation beforehand that I just wanted to absorb the energy of the festivities of the day. Even with the rain, we could not have asked for a more perfect day – the food was great, the band was amazing, the prizes and smiles were many and the location was idyllic and could not have been more appropriate for the event. As band member Brett commented afterward “it was like playing in the shadows of an abbey in ruins”. The entire setting did indeed have an ancient, sacred feel to it.
Soon the last guest left, leaving Roni, Steve and I alone in the now silent pavilion. After cleaning up the last traces of the festivities, we sat and listened to the rush of the river and contemplated the day’s success. Then we immediately started planning our Samhain event!
NOTE: Revel Moon is an exciting new band from the Leesburg, Virginia area. They are currently in studio recording their first full-length CD. You can learn more about them on their website: www.revelmoon.com. Please contact them if you are interested in having them play at your event. There will be another opportunity to hear them at Ravyne’s Haven Samhain event at Patapsco State Park on Saturday October 22, 2005.
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