I've spent the past six days going to, staying in, and returning from the Wild Goose Festival in Hot Springs, North Carolina. It was a mostly wet, often stressful, partly wonderful trip.
Not wanting to gripe about the stressful parts, let me just say that running a merchandise tent for a four-day festival with only six volunteers to help is bound to cause some blood pressure spikes and, for me, exhaustion. That being said, I am grateful for the volunteers I did have because they were dependable, cheerful, and capable. What I lacked in quantity was almost made up for in quality. Thanks, Linda, Laura, John, Debi, Sonia, and Sarah
I'm also grateful for a high quality tent. Despite heavy rain every day of the festival, I never had a single leak and none of my stuff was ruined.
I'm also grateful that being at the Wild Goose enabled me to see two friend from seminary, Abbie and Marcy, who I rarely see. In fact, I don't think Abbie and I have seen one another since graduation, so that was nice. Marcy and I painted the East Coast red during the spring of 2012, but it was still great to catch up after a year.
And, I am grateful for six whole days of no Facebook or email or voice mail or text messages. At the Wild Goose, there were no electronics making any demands of me, not a one. It was delightful. I need to start scheduling more times like that.
I'm definitely grateful for the Wild Goose friends from last year who welcomed me back and the new friends I made this year sitting around Eric's campsite. Since I went knowing no one last year, it was a nice change to encounter familiar faces and warm embraces upon my return.
I'm grateful for the bagels and hard-boiled eggs and homemade cream cheese spreads and pound cakes and fruit and cold water provided to volunteers every morning by the hospitality team. Not only were they delicious, they were free!
And, though I didn't get to many festival events, I'm grateful I got to see Krista Tippett interview Nadia Bolz-Weber. Krista has this gentle presence that makes me want to be her when I grow up and Nadia was not only hilarious but on-point about so many important things. The two of them together was like magic.
I'm grateful for Wild Goose but I don't know if it will be possible for me to attend next year. I'm hoping to run the Missoula Marathon - this is the official, purposely hidden announcement of that intention - so, if they schedule WGF for July, I probably won't be able to make it. So, let's lobby for June or August, folks.
Workout confession: I didn't run at all while in NC. There were reasons but I won't list them. Fortunately, camping and volunteering kept me physically active so, at least, I wasn't a lump the entire time I was away.