Lightning in a Bottle: An Infinite Classroom
Still attempting to expel the dust from my hair, clothes, and boots, Lightning in a Bottle has taught me many things that will also leave long lasting marks in my mind. It has taken me a bit to mull over my thoughts of this year’s festivities, and I am still processing them, but one thing that has stood out to me from the very beginning is that Lightning in a Bottle is a unique classroom with many different facets. With a permaculture action day on Thursday morning, multiple lectures and classes within The Temple of Consciousness, The Village, and through yoga, festival-goers had infinite opportunities to learn something new about themselves and the community that they are involved in. Forget about the partying, even forget about the music for a moment and reflect on all of the creating and learning that you observed and were possibly involved in. There is no other classroom quite like Lightning in a Bottle. It is an immensely unique experience to be able to learn how to make your own plant-based sauces, then receive artful tips during a lecture on letting go, and then flow into some yoga that nourishes your body in a way that is needed in that exact moment. This is a space that many do not even know that they need, but once fire is lit, it roars.
During the last night of Lightning in a Bottle, I took up a chair behind The Lost Tea Party installation and reflected under the bright stars as I stared out into the lake bed. Watching people dance without inhibitions, learn new skills that can change their lives, play like wide-eyed toddlers, and give like there are no attachments are only some of the things observed over Memorial Day weekend that brought tears to my eyes as I replayed these memories in my mind. Lightning in a Bottle gives its attendees the gift of learning and navigating the world in an enlightened and conscious way, but also gifts its attendees the space to laugh, dance, and play like a child who is seeing everything for the first time. Because LiB gives people these learning opportunities, it is our job to seize them and run with them. Don’t attend a transformational festival and shy away from all of the things that make it that; these are some of the best things that a festival can provide and some of the things that you might never expect to enjoy. I have not been to a bigger space for learning and growing than Lightning, and who doesn’t love learning new things?
Lightning in a Bottle sold out this year for the first time, and that presents another large opportunity with monster-sized footprints. More attendees means more people who can help co-create an experience that can leave the community better than before. Walk the few extra feet to the garbage bins to dispose of your trash, lend someone a helping hand hauling their belongings to camp, talk to the stranger next to you, support the independent artists and vendors, and treat others the way you would want to be treated. All of the little things that can be easy to forget are the little things that bring communities together in a strong bond. Lightning in a Bottle started off as a small family, and now with great minds and great artists curating all of the special learning environments for us, have grown into a larger family that always welcomes new members with open arms. Many thanks to the minds behind The Temple of Consciousness, The Village, all of the spaces within, the yogis, all of the teachers in-between, and The Do LaB. Without these rock stars, Lightning in a Bottle would be just another music festival.