So, it’s just two days until I head to Midwest Men’s Festival, and in fact, the event doesn’t truly begin until Tuesday, but for years R and I have set up our “camp” early. We sell sarongs at MMF, it’s the only time we ever “vend.” Turns out in weather as hot as July you really don’t want to wear much of anything and there aren’t too many actual naturists in the group of men who attend each year. Sarongs are ideal. They hind your privates and keeps you free. After discovering a sarong, I never understood why anyone would hate skirts and prefer pants. No way. Nuh-uh.
Anyway, to set up all the clothes lines and everything so that they are displayed in a nice place and be seen, you have to get there before the throng or those good spaces might be claimed already. So years ago we started going early and setting up and then going home. It’s a little over an hour drive each way. But then it occurred to me. We were set up. We had to pay for those extra days. I didn’t work Sunday and Monday in those days. Why shouldn’t I go ahead and stay? It gave me some private time and I also got to see everyone arrive. It was wonderful.
And in time, more and more men did the same thing. This year fully half the registered attendees are arriving by the first day! This is a ten-day event. A lot of faeries can’t come to the whole thing and only do a long weekend.
This year I am working a different schedule. I have to work Sunday and Monday and Tuesday, plus the next week early days as well. I didn’t have enough vacation accrued. So…I am working Sunday, and as soon as they will let me go…I am outta there and on my way to Camp Gaea Sanctuary. I also know that a number of men who show up on Sunday each year *aren’t* this year. And while that is a little sad, I am also kind of excited. It’s going to be like those years where I was one of the very first on the land.
And it will allow me some alone time. I can walk a woodland path…all by myself. I can go to the sacred places—just me and…nature. I can commune. I can go for a swim. I can get up that first morning and sit on the porch of our cabin and write.
This last year has been rough with a lot of stuff going on. But I have also grown and become a more fully realized self. I have been growing happier and happier and more fulfilled. And I need some magick time.
This is going to be an amazing festival. And I can’t wait!
BG “Ben” Thomas