Planning for a large community event is like walking a labyrinth. Before you take your first step, you set an intention. Our intention for the Winter Market & Solstice Festival of Lights was to celebrate and support artists, to bring a little light into the darkest night, and to continue to build on a tradition while making a space for people to have fun, and connect with their larger community.
A labyrinth doubles back on itself, taking you on a bit of an unpredictable spiral. When you walk the spiral path, you might think, haven’t I been here before? In preparation for the event, we went over the same details multiple times, doubling back, checking in with each other, crossing things off and adding to our to-do lists. If you came to our event and walked the labyrinth then you know, you are actually moving towards something. Our labyrinth builder Paul Eaves spent weeks making beautiful sculptures out of ice, creating a gorgeous centerpiece with a glowing, red heart right at the center. We were so pleased that at the heart of our event were our neighbors, families, and friends who came to gather around fires, follow glowing paths of candles, make art, support artists, roast marshmallows, sing loudly, and walk around the lake with music and light boxes created by Emily Johnson and her dance company, Catalyst.
Now, we are already looking back, turning around, tracing the path back out. We are asking ourselves what we loved about the event and what we can do better in the future. Rituals evolve. Details change, but the beautiful heart stays the same. We gather, we connect, we find warmth and light on the coldest night. We are grateful that from here on out, the light will grow and lengthen, just like our community, the thing we are the most grateful for.