Imagine sitting around the crackle of a shared fire, the warmth on your skin, and the smell of smoke in the air. Alongside you are folks of all ages and backgrounds, gathered together by the same dedication to living well with Earth and community. As the moon rises, you listen to the folktales retold by Elders, sing along to traditional Appalachian folk songs, and dance to the sweet sounds of cumbia at the Block Party. You find yourself able to relax into your connection with the Earth beneath your feet and the beings around you. As you do, you tend your inner flames of inspiration, vision, and capacity for collaborative change.
It is around the fire that humans have engaged in some of our most precious, life-affirming rituals. A sacred symbol for Indigenous cultures and ceremonies around the world, fire plays a leading role in traditional festivals from Beltane – celebrating the fertility of Spring, to the Japanese “Oniyo” where fires drive away spirits. Current evidence suggests that we’ve gathered around fires for more than 300,000 years; some scholars say there is strong evidence even that our early ancestors, Homo erectus, controlled the use of fire beginning roughly 1 million years ago. Fire is inextricably intertwined with our cellular memories, with who we fundamentally are as a species.
At Firefly, evening fires honor this connection to our human ancestors in community-centered circles to integrate and embody what we experienced that day. We do this to relax and unwind, share stories, laugh, and most importantly, delight in the joy of living in the beauty of the moment that we’ve tenderly co-created together.
When we come together to dance, play, connect, and dream, we lay the groundwork for the kind of world we long to inhabit; one built on strong relations, mutuality, and a sense of joy, curiosity, and possibility.
Around the fire, drumming, music, and dancing are central to our gathering. Drumming serves as a form of communication in various cultures all around the world, for celebration and connection with the spirit world. The rhythms of the drums can heal the mind, body, and soul, while movement serves to release the focused energies of the day into flow and play. We dance as a form of self-expression and resistance, surrounded by the “self” -in the trees the soil, the night critters, and the stars. We embrace connecting deeply with ourselves as a gift and offer a wide range of evening activities to share it.
The evening experience at Firefly is made up of people of all ages, ethnicities, and lifestyles. We come together, we let loose, and we build deep connections with one another and Earth. We tap into something primal and universal within ourselves – a shared experience that transcends language, culture, and background. We build community.
During difficult times, it’s our community that keeps us stable. We remind ourselves that the fight is worth the effort. Your Firefly community will encourage connection with these old Appalachian mountains as well as the belonging that comes with this earth-centered, tree-hugging, surviving, and thriving gang of folks that will help fill something special inside of you. It’s the reminder that you are not alone in this (and were never meant to be) and that you are strong and wise enough to weather the storm.
We invite you to celebrate, dance to the earth-honoring sounds of local musicians, and sit in circle to share, listen, trade, grieve and connect with the ancestors and our community. We invite you to rejoice in all life at the Firefly Gathering.
Want to learn more about our offerings this year? Check out our Live Evening Schedule below, including a workshop with our magnificent friends Rising Appalachia; live performances by Peia, Holy River, Mother Marrow, and Life Like Water; our Community Variety Show hosted by Toybox: America’s Favorite Cartoon Witch; the Neighborhood’s legendary Block Party; song circles with Charity Cimmaron, Saro Lynch-Thompson, and Yuri Woodstock; live drumming ecstatic dance with Nata Das, and so much more.
Click here to register now before online sales end at midnight, June 17. We can’t wait to see you there, dancing amongst the fireflies!