Around Valentines Day, I went to Dandelion Communitea Cafe to sketch the Madly in Love with me Celebration. Apparently this Celebration was happening in 22 countries and over 500 cities. In the parking lot there were some artists tents set up. Bonnie Sprung had some paintings and delicate scarfs with intricate patterns. Lauren E. Lee was just putting out some hula hoops when I arrived. I knew there might be a drum circle but the event was much smaller than I expected. The woman in charge of the Love Celebration sat alone lightly tapping her drum.
Four lanterns were placed around the fire pit. She took each lantern and walked it out to the edge of the small lawn where she said said a prayer. Her husband helped start up the fire pit. Someone took a container from a Tiki Torch and poured the liquid on the struggling embers. The liquid wasn't kerosine, it was water. After much struggle, the flame eventually burned bright. Since I was the only other person seated near the fire, I was coached in a drum beat prayer that had me imagine going back to the time when I first heard my mothers heart beat while I was in her womb. At first I thought I might have to fold my hands in in prayer, but I kept sketching. Incense was lit and someone moved it in arcs around my feet and body as I worked. This must be some sort of cleansing exercise. The woman acting as the master of ceremonies announced that at midnight, she and her husband would be celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. They kissed.
Lauren joined us at the fire and she played saxophone while a little girl twirled, improvising her dance to Lauren's song. More people joined in for the final incantations, bowing their heads. It was a crisp, cool evening and before the sketch was done, I smelled of fire and incense. There were a few jokes about what self love might mean, but this gathering lifted that notion to a higher plane. I was given a white cut out heart with intricate silver patters swirling on it's surface. It will make a fine Christmas ornament next year. A large group photo was taken in front of Dandelion and after some coaxing, I joined in.