I’ve been thinking lately about the idea of play. Real, rough and tumble, backyard with your brothers and sisters, knees dirty, deep laughter play. Sometimes I think we’ve lost the idea of play, as adults, as creatures of an intensly modern world. Then I get a chance to hug my nephew, just back from playing outside with his cousins, feel his heart beating fast and smell the dirt and sweat, and I think, I hope, “it can’t be too far away, we just need to find it again.”
Ever have trouble sleeping? Do you remember, after a full day of play, how easy it was to fall into bed and wake up only to another day? Ever feel alone? Do you remember joining a team or laughing with your best friend until you peed your pants? Feel stumped or trapped? Remember finger painting, or writing a poem, or making up a new game, finding inspiration and freedom through letting go and playing? Maybe more play is the answer we need!
This festival embodies play! After a 4-day adventure at Shakori Hills, so many people say to me that they are sad to go “back to reality.” I notice, while walking around back in the “real world,” that we don’t talk to one another, we don’t give random high fives in the grocery store, or stop to really observe what other people are doing for each other. People aren’t helping each other out of the mud, we don’t just sit around on the sidewalks and pull out our instruments for a jam. But here, we can do that. We can play! Our mission here, our agenda, our to-do list only includes playing together.
Now that these festival grounds belong to us, to the Shakori Hills Community Arts Center – which is to say – to You, I am hoping that we can bring this escape from the “real world” into our every day lives. Maybe we can even reverse the trend and make THIS the real world. We want to invite you to become the guardians of this space and to use it as you wish, as it should be used. Have you ever wanted to have a camping Yoga retreat? There is a space where you can. Want to bring more planets and constellations to your children’s nighttime gaze? Throw a celestial sky-watching convention! If you have a talent or a dream you’d like to bring to life, remember that Shakori Hills can provide a place, a reality, to let your ideas play – and to share with others.
It’s the truth. This is why we started this whole thing! Let us help you use the space you so dearly love here. We offer affordable ways to help people and organizations enjoy the magic that this place holds throughout the year. Please stay in touch, and share your intentions and ideas with us.
Life, really, should be play. Not that we shouldn’t deal with the hard parts, not that we shouldn’t help those who need it – but we should act more like we’re inviting others to play along. Sometimes when we play we get holes in our jeans, we get bruises and scrapes, we sweat and get muddy, but we are all the better for it! Begin to dream about how to bring more play into your own lives, and don’t forget that we are here to help you do so.