DFW Pagan Pride Day this year was an interesting time frame for me. I got to see a lot of people I had not seen in several years…plus I got the chance to watch a community that was (and still is) HUNGRY for cohesiveness action. Both were actions that brought my life to full-circle in a handful of areas, and in a few areas some well-needed closure. But there was (and still is) the hardcore vibration of finding my tribe (as Dana commented on one of my status messages on Facebook). And its taken a few days to realize just how true that statement is.
I named my podcast “From the Edge of the Circle” for a lot of reasons. The private reason was a simple poke at myself. No matter what part of my life I have been in – I have always been on the outside looking in. Or – if you prefer – standing just in that twilight area between shadow and light. Seen, but not quite seen. Yeah, I am dishing a little bit on my personal life here too. In a sense I have always been on that particular area – the edge of everything. Not quite all the way in, but not completely gone either. While I came into the Planning Committee for this year’s event late – I was welcomed by everyone as if I had been there from the start. A very odd feeling for me, to say the very least. But my opinion was valued and welcomed. Some ideas were shot down – others (such as a slightly discussed flash mob) were championed to the maximum. I truly am looking forward to what the Committee will be planning for mini-events leading up to the next year’s PPD – as well as how I can assist in all of that.
When I arrived at the PPD – I was handed task after task, which I tried my best to complete. I was set at the Information/Welcome Table with two ladies I knew not at all. We had a blast over there and we met a LOT of people. People who hugged us. People who were smiling. People who shared the joy of being at such an event. People who laughed with us at some really lame jokes. I discovered two kindred folk – who were different from me in quite a few ways – but were accepting of who I was. Somewhere along the way, I found two members of my tribe.
As I helped out in other areas, I found more members of my tribe. People of a kindred spirit that I found myself connecting to. Perhaps the most interesting aspect – all of them came from different backgrounds and spiritual perspectives. Yet, they were all members of my tribe. All of them saw things from a different perspective than I did/do. Yet, we set the differences aside through a mutual respect and a mutual love. For Nature. For the Gods. For one another. I watched a community I wanted to see rally together and celebrate the diversity and togetherness becomes something stronger in my own eyes. We became a tribe.
In the span of a single afternoon – I went from being a single individual practicing my own understanding of the world, Spirits and Gods around me – to being a member of a large, diverse, and loving tribe. I said it before – if someone asked me if I thought my local Pagan community was capable of what happened on that Saturday afternoon, I would have said that it was impossible. If you told me that 17 individuals would give blood to help a community of strangers they would most likely never see – I would have said you were totally out of your tree. If you told me that people coming to an event such as Pagan Pride Day would bring in 110 pounds of canned goods for a canned food drive that is very Christian oriented – I would have given you a jacket that ties in the back. And all of that happened….and so much more. I am overjoyed to be proven wrong. I will gladly wear that crown of shame.
My tribe. Damn I love ya’ll….