At the end of August, I travelled down to Black Rock Desert in Nevada where the annual Burning Man Festival is held each year. This year my brother, Chris and I rented an RV and brought our dad along. For those of you who have no idea what Burning Man is, I will do my best to give you a quick description but really any words won’t do it justice. Burning Man is an art festival, in which the 60 000 people who come to the desert are active participants in the event…body paint, art cars and incredible sculptures set against the back drop of amazing sunsets or star filled skies. The scope and the quality of the art projects that you will see and experience is incredible. The originality of the art, the music, the speakers, the architecture, the costumes, the theme camps and the free spirited creativity is truly inspiring. It often feels as though you have landed on a different planet, as you ride your bike out into the playa for the first time, and find yourself surrounded by the most imaginative and playful world you could have ever imagined!
Burning Man is also a test of survival, the weather at Burning Man can be harsh! It is the northern Nevada desert and it is common to have sweltering heat above 40 degrees in the day and then freezing at night. The wind and dust storms are so incredibly powerful and you truly are at the mercy of the elements. You must pack all your own supplies in with you for the week into Black Rock city. In this beautiful gifting society, the only things to purchase inside the gates is ice and coffee at Centre Camp. To me this journey to Burning Man was more than just a trip, it was a symbol of my ability to not only survive but to thrive under any conditions!
I embarked on this journey to Burning Man with bandages, sterile dressing kits and some antibiotics (just in case). I was still having some issues with my incision wound not healing over. I was also comforted by the fact that my community wound care nurse, also a good friend, was camping with us. The super alkaline dusty playa, where nothing grows, was to be my home for the next seven days. Not exactly the most healing of environments was my first thought, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to share this experience with my brother and my dad. What an incredible opportunity to release and heal on so many levels. Freedom of spirit, the willingness to share, experiencing the depth and openness of one anothers’ hearts. Imagine people, complete strangers, connecting, sharing more authentically then you have ever known. The depth of human interaction at Burning Man, even if just for seconds or a few minutes is full and fully present. Imagine what is possible when we feel connected, not only to our hearts but to the greater whole, wounds heal, seen and unseen.