How has your week been?

Yesterday I arrived in my hometown of Whitehorse. It’s been almost two years since I left and I’m curious what will be different, what will be the same, and how I’ll feel about it all. I’ll let you know once i figure it out myself!

Last weekend I had a great adventure in the countryside.

There are pockets of magic in the Cowichan Valley, and I got to play right in the middle of one of those sublime timewarps. It was a Jamboree, and it embodied all of my ideas about deep and sustaining creativity. I believe that the best kind of creativity is truly a physical, community-based experience. I find I write a lot about everyday life, about our physical bodies, about beauty, and about creativity because the best peak experiences in my life have always happened when these things all mixed together, not when they are separated out.

Everything I love about creativity and community was brought vibrantly to life at Genevieve’s CD Release Concert and Jamboree.

The Jamboree offered a chance to move my body, to dance my heart out, to swim in the Koksilah River, to hear with my ears the beautiful music, and to taste with my mouth and lips all of the food offered up at the potluck. My eyes soaked up all of the people around, all of the beautiful lush scenery, the bucolic landscape, the daisies carpeting every meadow, the sharp bright pinpoints of starlight in the country sky.

There were so many complete moments, brought to life so sublimely, that I’ll just offer you these fully formed snippets (don’t be surprised if, after you read this, you decide it’s a good idea to move to the Cowichan Valley).

A homestead – created by two families with their very own hands, in less than seven years. Magic everywhere! In the view from the side of the hill and in the yard, deeply carpeted with grass, bursting forth in garden and bloom, fruit trees promising the gifts of perfectly ripened fruit.

Festive canopy tents throughout the yard to shield merry celebrators from the threat of rain.

Camping spots for our tents, privately tucked away off the main road, generously offered up by neighbours. The field I set my tent up on was so lush and cushy; a field of grass and daisies had been mowed in preparation and it felt like I had a mattress under me.

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A stage for the music, fashioned outside out of a kiwi tree draped over an arbor, plastic awning to keep away the rain (which only enhanced the magical feel of enclosure and the shimmer of light shining through).

Dinner, potluck-style. Almost as if precisely planned, the many food offerings were gobbled up, desserts flew off the table, and there was exactly enough food for everyone to eat their fill, plus a little extra for snacking in the evening. There were so many different salads, breads, legume dishes and cheeses, pies, fruit cobblers, plain fruit, and teas.

An open stage that featured anyone who wanted to step up and sing a song or two. Songs of love. Old traditional songs. Folksy songs, classical songs and children’s songs. They all came out, they were all sweetly delivered and appreciatively received.

And then there was the main act.

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We’d been watching the many volunteers in t-shirts emblazoned with “Gen’s biggest fan” walking around, but after hearing her music we all became her biggest fan. And, at the end of the concert, four young teenage girls rushed up with baskets of rose petals and showered Genevieve with them. The cobblestone stage was carpeted with petals of varying shades of pink. But that’s not all. Genevieve’s partner walked up with a bouquet, announced her to the audience  and kissed her deeply. What pleasure to witness such unabashed love and admiration.

As the light dwindled, someone lit a bonfire. The dance band, Kikeyambay started playing, their African rhythms drawing out the dancing fiends in us all. I danced my heart out!

The next day – breakfast, tea and coffee by donation, and more workshop and performances. Lazy lingering in circles, conversation roaming free and easy.

Swimming in the river – the Kinsol Trestle over the Cowichan River was just a 15 minute walk away, and although the day was not hot it was muggy, so I gritted my teeth and plunged in with a friend. My screams from the cold water drew attention, but once I got over the sharp biting sting, it felt so good to be in the crystal clear water, watching the crayfish scuttle away from our feet.

I so enjoyed the lightheartedness of this home-grown, family-produced mini-music festival and it’s family friendly all-ages environment. Children shrieking as they bounced on the trampoline, streaked through groups of adults, and played in dirt and water brought such a light and bright energy to the event. I love it.

That is what embodied creativity looks like to me. Being surrounded by friends, eating, listening, dancing, moving and connecting. It’s a joyous and nurturing experience that feeds any hunger I have and fills my creative well.

As usual, I’m curious about your experiences. Have you participated in community events like this? Or created them yourselves?

Until next time,

Janelle

ps – check out Twisted Vine Farm and Genevieve Charbonneau’s music at this link. And Kikeyambay too.

pps – I love sharing my stories and thoughts on my blog. If you enjoy my stories, get on my e-letter list. That’s where I do most of my sharing.