Enchanted Forest was my First Festival
Enchanted Forest 2013 was my first festival and also the weekend in which my life took a magical, beautiful, enchanted turn for the best. I can’t recall where I heard about Enchanted Forest or who I heard about it from. I almost didn’t go when I came across it the first time by chance, but when I saw the 2012 recap video I knew I had to be at the next gathering. That something miraculous awaited me in those trees.
I filled out a volunteer application early on, and two weeks before the event, I was accepted as a volunteer.
I got time off from my job, frantically packed for the forest and for my first festival, grabbed my lover, and off we went to Mendocino. We arrived at Camp Navarro late in the night. Riding into the grounds on the refurbished school bus felt like I was arriving at a nature-lover’s Disneyland. All of the beautiful people dancing, the towering trees, the art installations, and bright lights sent chills up my spine and I knew I was among family.
The weekend was filled with immense realizations, new discoveries, and exploration of the entire site. On one of the nights I stood under Audiowaska’s awe-inspiring stage set in the trees, and watched their man-made waterfall fall into an alter below. There a woman was dancing and slithering in the alter space and I felt so overwhelmed with the acceptance, love, and creativity surrounding me that I started sobbing. I never wanted to leave the forest. I danced and laughed so much that weekend that I felt like a new person, and I went to some revolutionary workshops that helped give me a whole new world view. I also came home with about 40 mosquito bites, but man, were they worth it!
Enchanted Forest was the catalyst for much of my personal growth because I had never been in an open and elevating atmosphere quite like it before. It changed me. It was like a shock to my system, but in the absolute best way possible. Now this gathering is one I attend every year with a huge smile and a hearty stock of organic bug repellent. It’s the one festival I highly recommend to everyone I encounter. I’m not sure if it’s the crew, the vibes, the community, the dance or the art but together these things make an otherworldly space and I simply cannot compare it to any other experience I’ve had before.
That’s why, for me, Enchanted Forest is home.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Kuaui Ric