by Rita Robinson
The hills were alive with the sounds of new world music.
In a once-quiet mountain meadow, a mash of celebrants playfully pulsated to the high-vibe tunes under the brilliance of a supersize full moon.
It was the June 2009 Raw Spirit Festival, a raw vegan extravaganza of all things eco, deep in the Santa Ynez Mountains above Santa Barbara. Live music, live food and live wires, all emitting “The Glow” attributed to eating uncooked (and allegedly enzyme-rich) fruits and vegetables.
I was hanging out at the back of the peace-lovers’ mosh pit, feeling somewhat like a benevolent gatekeeper of what I wasn’t sure. Younger people in mostly organic garb of sheer gauze with beads, bangles and bare midriffs were bumping up to each other in front of me.
With all of this going on, I happened to look up to see where the light was coming from and, yep, the gate opened and, like a big pizza pie, the full moon hit me right in the third eye.
In all its HD glory, the high-contrast image of a bright white moon silhouetting the intricate details of pine needles transfixed me. As I stared, a palpable energy showered down on me. It filled me to the brim.
Suddenly, I was the moon, I was the pine needle. I was the rock, the bush, the blade of grass. Everywhere I looked, I became part of everything. I now understood the meaning of “I am that, I am” (note the comma). I was that, and that, and that (and I wasn’t on anything; not part of my lifestyle).
I turned back to the crowd and felt BIG. The music filled me to my loins and ran up and out my arms. I began swaying in big, expansive movements. My chest opened up to the sky and my heart felt massive. I looked with genuine love, no kidding, at everyone around me. Energy radiated out from my heart like moonbeams. Perhaps trite, but I was finding this maxim true: love is all there is.
The kids near me started to notice, forming a circle around me. I didn’t become self-conscious and just smiled at all of them. They joined in, making big, expansive movements of their own.
I slipped away and went back to my tent. I could hear the music playing in the distance but now it was just me and the moon. I sat outside, staring up at my mentor for who knows how long. I imagined why wolves howl at the moon. It’s a longing love song. I was tempted.
In the morning, I felt like I’d been up all night with an intense lover. I wore sunglasses all day while enjoying a spattering of expert speakers, more music and a cornucopia of sensual raw food treats (including handcrafted chocolates), organic oils and essences, massage and fresh-squeezed juices. I grabbed a ride home that night from friends, knowing my system could overload at any minute.
In the end, I do not profess to be anything other than plain ol’ me having an amazing experience who now knows that we are all that, we are