Bonnaroo 2010 :: Lessons on Love
This year was my “coming out” and re-acclimating back into humanity and what better way than to volunteer at Bonnaroo, which is held in Manchester TN. Having no expectations, experience with camping out or friends to accompany me, I headed out on an adventure that was full of possibilities and beautiful people. As I packed my car and prepared the days prior, it was emotionally charged. I realized I had never done anything on my own which was could be attributed to a co-dependent state of mind. Yet, I found the courage to push beyond my boundaries and fears to provide myself with the opportunity to grow and experience a different facet of life-personal independence and self -love.
Needing & Accepting Help
The first act of kindness I received came from my tent camping neighbors. As I mentioned, I am not the great wilderness survival woman, but I did have a tent and a willingness to learn. My neighbors assisted me in putting up a borrowed tent as a severe lightning storm hit while checking in. My fears were already beginning to subside just knowing that there were random acts of kindness going on right there where I needed them. In that case it was putting up a tent without proper equipment and later in the week, when the tent collapsed those same neighbors worked on my tent as I worked my volunteer shift. How does one thank another for kindness and humanity when a “thank you “ does not seem adequate? My offer for monetary compensation was rejected, so I choose to write about the positive experiences and people I met on my first adventure.
Planet-ROO : A Look at Sustainability
Bonnaroo is known for the great music and food, but there was a growing number of people hanging out in what they call “Planet-Roo” which was dedicated to finding ways to help sustain life and bring awareness for local and global issues. The description is as follows:
“Heighten your global consciousness at Planet Roo. In this area you will find a variety of nonprofit organizations committed to protecting the resources of the world, promoting healthy lifestyles and making the world a better place. Learn about issues that are affecting the earth, from global warming to water protection to human rights issues. Learn how you can make a difference by reducing your carbon footprint or by supporting alternative energy sources. Our Friends at HeadCount will be onsite to play “HeadCount Reality Check,” a trivia tournament that will test your knowledge of music, politics and everything in between. Also, don’t forget to bring your old cell phone to the Rock the Earth station to be recycled. In Planet Roo you will find a variety of organic foods, a sit down restaurant, yoga classes, art and theatre, ongoing documentaries, and of course the ever popular Solar Stage. Planet Roo also features our eco friendly partner Jansport.”
Some of the classes available through the Academy taught gardening & natural composting, lessons on creating a Shitake Mushroom log, wild fermentation, seed exchange programs and much more! I walked away with great information, some new contacts and an expanded view on what can be done at a local level to impact the global issues. Recycling and re-using was promoted as well throughout the event, although I did not see any recycled art classes available this year.
Next year, it is my hope that Humanity Healing will have a booth there and we can raise funds and awareness for some of our local / global projects as we connect with local teams who are making sustainable living work. The victory gardens were already producing and leading by example. The Natural Answer Wellness Center in Sparta, TN also plans to attend next year and bring their deKombucha to sell and distribute, as well as offer a variety of classes to benefit those wishing to increase or maintain good health. From breathing and yoga to cardio and zumba!
Ride Share Programs
Many carpooled and used ride share programs to cut costs and save our environment. I met a woman from New Zealand who was touring the United States via ride shares and other cost cutting / eco friendly travel solutions. She was an inspiration and joy to be around. For those that chose to use ride shares a bit of safety and precautions must be used, but there is no reason NOT to share a ride when possible. Not only does it provide the opportunity to meet new people, share ideas it is the kindest thing you can do for your planet! A couple of great sites with resources for traveling economically: http://www.tribe.net and http://www.couchsurfing.org/
Recycling Program Incorporated
Recycling was everywhere and the volunteers were out helping to ensure that the patrons knew what could be recycled, compost and pure garbage. This year the plastic cups were not plastic at all but made with corn and completely biodegradable in a short amount of time. The plates were made in such a way they could be used for composting. Of course even with all these efforts, the amount of garbage needs to be reduced, but significant efforts were made to reduce the carbon footprint of this event.
Beyond FEAR lives LOVE
When I began this small adventure I had no idea what I would find, but I knew that staying in safe and protected home environment was not the way to experience life. I had faith that the universe would and does provide in abundance and I stepped out of my comfort zone and into the red zone. The unknown and uncharted waters of adventures do not come to us, we must pack up and consciously decide to move toward them. My heart was heavy with personal and planetary issues of real concern, so I was not sure how much “comfort” could be found at an event that was jam packed full of FUN! The fun was not a distraction to my personal mission of data collection and expanding personal boundaries. Five days at Bonnaroo with 100,000+/- soulful beings has touched my heart and changed my life.
I am not the same, nor do I wish to be. This local music and arts festival was not expected to survive – perhaps the communities were not supportive and many did not believe folks in Tennessee could embrace change. I respectfully disagree and further suggest that these same simple, poor rural communities have exactly what they need to survive. No one has ever taken the time to examine without judgment till now. Where love lives, there is no fear! Where FEAR lives, love cannot survive.