On the way to Salem to enjoy the World Beat Festival I stopped at the rest area. There was a woman there with a sign and a starving dog. Literally every bone in his body could be felt when I petted him although one couldn’t tell by looking, he was fluffy. I used the restroom and came back out gifting her a few dollars. I saw she had a little zip-lock of food for her dog, yet he wasn’t getting to eat it. She asked that I pray for her, that she was about to ‘lose it’. I only hope that this poor pooch doesn’t die in the process of her getting her life together.
I continued on down the road thinking of how much suffering there is in the world, for the people, for the animals. I prayed that one day, driving by a farm, I would see whole families of cattle and chickens and pigs and such, and that there would be an end to humans need of flesh eating. The cows were standing in the pasture but I knew their fate and it saddened me.
Looking at the clock on my dashboard I saw it had just turned 11:11. “New beginnings” … https://willowsoul.com/blogs/numbers/5-reasons-why-you-are-seeing-11-11-the-meaning-of-1111 … http://www.intuitivejournal.com/1111-a-conscious-spiritual-journey/.
Photo by Lee Pigott
Several more miles down the road I reached my destination. I was fortunate to find parking right away, being Sunday there was no fee. I only had to walk a couple blocks to the waterfront where the festival was gearing up.
Once inside the gate I went straight for the Kathmandu booth for a friend had mentioned the great deals they were giving. I bought a dress, a skirt, a wonderful silver ring with beautiful stone and … finally! … I got myself a Hemp hat!
I saw a booth selling cheesy nachos. It had been quite awhile, so I figured, “What the heck!” And bought a little plate of them. As I walked along, munching away, I heard drums … BIG drums. I stopped to listen. It was a group of people playing those huge Japanese drums! Their arms were flying … boom, boom, boom! Similar to this but fewer drummers, and of course, outside. Beautiful!
I turned and walked some more, stopping at another booth for a Huckleberry ice cream cone. So delicious!
I came upon people from India doing a prayer/dance. Their clothing was so colorful! There was a young girl and boy performing what looked to be a courtship dance, then the whole family came on floor and they danced in circle, what appeared to be celebration! (This caused me to sit and watch Indian wedding ‘first dances’ for some time this evening).
Next I came to folks who said the drumming they did was of African nature. There was a square with an empty space in the middle for the dancers. People from the crowd were invited to sit at a drum and partake in the lesson and drum with them. I took a video, then it was my turn to play. Oh what fun!
I walked along, thinking I would start the long drive home but then came to our very own First Nations people as they were holding a drumming and singing competition. Each one of them sang songs of love in their own language and then in translation for those of us who could not understand. I listened to them, moved near to tears as I thought of these gentle people and what history had given them, what was stolen from them. I smiled as I listened … through everything they still have so much love in their hearts.
The Peruvians came in, dressed to the nines. Their head dresses were incredible!!! Their garb absolutely stunning. They danced in circle, taking turns passing the implement which appeared to have the same meaning as a talking stick, only this item was given to the one leading the dance. I sat there swaying in my chair, moved so deeply by their traditional dance and song.
I thought, These are our people. ALL of them I had seen today … we are all related. Sure, we come from different areas of the world, but our heart beats the same tempo. My hope is that when they see me they think I am their people too. I let these thoughts really sink in and solidify in my mind. To see them dancing, drumming, smiling and sharing made it so personal.
These, and those who embrace the differences “we share” ~ for we are all of the same substance ~ are the ones who will birth a new world … one which all people dance to the World Beat … no one less than any another.
I walked toward my vehicle and as I crossed the street a gal I know was heading to the festival. We said hello to each other, giving a high five and a smile, and then continued on.
I drove home with a grin on my face. The absolute beauty of the various cultures was stunning! To see them all gathered in one place a mind boggling blessing! About half way home I looked at the dashboard once again, still smiling, to see the clock now read 4:44 … the “Angels are near” … https://www.ask-angels.com/spiritual-guidance/angel-number-444/ … https://readingswithmatt.com/numerology-444-spiritual-angel-meanings/.
I appreciate so much what those people participating in the festival have contributed to the world this day. I am grateful they are so resilient, keeping alive those practices and ancient knowledge of their regions. I hope some day all of it, all of us, will form a new whole … a whole which honors and respects each other and the culture brought and taught, grateful for each and every contribution made by every one … melding into a new way of being for all to share, made up of all cherished ways.
All will be well … even if it isn’t understood just yet.