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Learning to love the land

Learning to love the land
I believe it was 1993 when one of my dearest friends brought me to the woods of Lothlorien. I live in St. Louis and he lives in Ohio, so I went for a visit with him in Dayton and then we went to the "Chance to Dance" festival that year. It was early in the season and (big surprise) it rained. But before the weather conspired to make us miserable in our (really awful) rented tent, I had a fantastic time at the festival. It was announced that workers were needed to put tarps on the brand new wooden dome, so I volunteered. I have carpentry experience and no fear of ladders, so I offered to nail the slats onto the tarps to hold them in place... on top of the dome. A little girl came up to me while I was walking the circle and asked if I would come and sleep in her tent. I was just stunned to have a child come up to me like we were family, but this was how everyone was, whether they knew me or not! The little girl chatted amiably with me and gave me HER tour of the land, which included the swing sets. When her mother apologized to me, I just laughed and said that I was given a grand tour and that her daughter was a true delight. We had a nice meal cooked over a fire, and I painted myself and about a dozen people with animal faces using my face-painting kit. We danced around the bonfire to the pulse of drums and I knew I was hooked. When we went to the pump to wash off the night's paint (this was before the showers!) I saw something in the woods that I did not expect. And no, I won't tell you what. That is between me and the entity that revealed itself to me. And so I learned the beauty, majesty, and genuine magic of the Lothlorien Nature Sanctuary. Over the years I've seen the wooden Thunder Dome completed, and mourned its loss when it needed to come down. I saw the Radience Hall built and brought to life, I've seen the showers built, improved, and improved again. I've brought maybe a dozen people to the land to experience its Magic and share a little of their own talent and magic with the Elves. Lots of festivals have a greeter who says, "Welcome Home." At Lothlorien, those words are true.
  Submitted by: Tricia Overkamp
on July 24, 2011