I depart imminently for the Firefly Festival in Bethel, Vermont, a 3-hour drive from my parents’ house. I am glad to get on the road again.
I arrive a day before the festival officially opens so I can set up the Platonic Solids. I will stay a week in the woods, through the Fourth of July, until the festival closes. I worry about rain.
Yesterday, I transferred my luggage from the boiler room into the driveway. I’m hauling about 75% of my belongings to the festival. I account for items like tent, stove, and hat with antlers. While my father watches bewildered, I pack the car full. I’m a far better crammer and shover than packer. I still can see through the car’s rear window.
I have not been back to the Firefly Festival for seven years. Of the one thousand attending, I shall recognize only a few faces. There will be many new, unfamiliar, young Bostonians. I can be a new me as well. Although I will set up camp with a group of twenty, I feel as if I am roaming free.
Last night, I read Walt Whitman’s Song of Myself. Like Thoreau, Whitman embraces the savage. My personal counsel for the upcoming festival is just one word: bewilder. Bewilder with energy, light, amazement, and inconsistencies. Be wildered by the unexpected and simple. Be-wilder and be wilder. Discover the wild outside and the wild within.