My Friend Melissa and I arrived at the Wild Goose Festival at 3am Friday morning and wondered around in the dark until we found a spot to set up our tent (in the dark) and get a couple hours of sleep before the beginning of the events for the day. And WOW did the events start early and there where a lot of events to participate in and people to see and Ostrich to eat…? Yep! There was an Ostrich vendor (luckily he had other things because I am NOT that brave!!). For me, the giant inflatible Ostrich head became the symbol of my Wild Goose experience. Something quite out of the ordinary, but the source of nurishment.
This was a experience for me to do more listening than talking (Everyone who knows me knows also how GOOD I am at talking). I listened to Father Rohr talk about split people spliting people and whole people bringing wholeness, I listened to Phylis Tickle talk about the Holy Spirit and the wholeness of God, I listened to Jay Bakker talk about how we must seek justice for ALL before we can all be whole. I listened to voices raise from the Beer Garden in oneness and wholeness with great, joyous praise, and I heared skilled musicians like Reverend Vince, Derek Webb, David Bazon and Jennifer Knapp lead us through story and song to truth and understanding. And as Jennifer Knapp recorded her PSA for “It Get’s Better” from the stage and turned the cameras to us…it didn’t feel as if we were trying to send a message of hope to others, but claim that message of hope for ourselves, in hopes that the witness we gave would give that hope.
You really couldn’t walk anywhere you didn’t find groups of people gathered, talking and laughing, listening and learning, singing and playing, or hugging and praying. There where all kinds of booths as well, giving information about many different ministries and non-profits filled with people proclaiming with passion what God had called them to be not to do! I heard speakers who challenged me and reminded me of who God has called me to be. I saw friends and made friends from all over the map and remembered that we are not alone in our stuggles and passions, but that God is doing a new thing all over, a new thing that may be symbolized by a Wild Goose…but also, at least for me, by a giant inflatable Ostrich!