One evening on Okeechobee I was sitting in our personal man-made (Greg Made) living room with my new friend Nadia. We had just trekked through the woods to find our campsite, it was dark so it took us awhile. Greg would swear to you that he knew EXACTLY where he was going, the jungle hunter that he is, but I am pretty sure he was just as lost as us which made it a real hysterical journey. It took us probably a half an hour dodging other people and their tents before finding ours. Finally home sweet home, and as we were sitting in our living room I noticed a few other lost souls looking for their campsite. So I whispered to them, “Good luck finding your home.” (I understood their struggle!) I think it was a natural action for them as their souls turned around toward us to start a conversation. I mean they were lost anyway. I would have done the same thing. So we were chatting for a bit, I found out that two of them were brothers and one of them happened to live in Denver, like me! They were great conservationists. But then they asked me if I wanted candy….
“Candy?” I asked. “No thank you.” What the hell was someone doing offering me candy. Like common this is a drug reference right?
“Kandy, the bracelets” They replied to me, as I sat still confused.
Thank god for Nadia coming up to explain that this was a personal ritual that some people in festivals do. My roommate refers to it as “plur life.” I wouldn’t call it anything, it was simply a person giving another person some guidance and love. We (This new friend, Jack and I) did the Peace, Love, Unity handshake. The whole shebang. Jack gave me a few bracelets one said I was Krazy, the other reminded me to stay hydrated. But that is not the story. He was with a few other people. Two other boys and one girl. The girl looked at me and said she wanted to give me something too. I did not feel worthy of these gifts and this love but they gave it to me anyway.
“I am sorry but this is all I have. I know it is not a Kandy, but this is all I can give to you.” She says.
And she slips off a beautifully beaded bracelet and ties it onto my wrist.
It wasn’t until the morning that I was able to appreciate the sparkle in the beads and the beauty in its craft but in the darkness I still felt so much love and respect for her. I do not deserve this, but I am humbled and I hope to do good by her for her gracious gift to me. Okeechobee gave me some wonderful gifts to hold on to and some wonderful memories. I really love this story because not very many people were around, it was late at night, and everyone was asleep or lost and it was just the six of us in the middle of the woods. Nadia and I just chatting, laughing, giving and receiving respect and love from these strangers. I never did see those people again for the rest of the weekend, but I now always have a reminder tied to my wrist. To love and respect each other, because we are all so lost in this world it is nice to know that we always have each other.