5. We have a group of teens in our camp from out of town (Seattle). I met another group of Fair kids who knew their way around and sent them as a gift to our booth to take our teens out - that was a fun match-making :) - watching said group walk arm in arm - giggling, back into the Fair about 5 hours after I'd set this match in motion.
It's important that we have these gatherings and this year's Fair felt very important for this community. Partially to re-group given the current political climate... It's a group that comes together to make magic. To teach each other life skills. To pass along the skills that we have around communication; organization; kindness; and long-term relationships - and practice them. And MAKE MISTAKES!
This Fair taught me once again that you just can't help make mistakes when you are trying new things and pushing past your comfort zone. It's just about impossible when you're surrounded by so many people and various depths/types of relationships - not to make mistakes. I think that's one of the challenges in our society - that's it's somewhat easy and safe to stay in one's cocoon - stay behind the laptop; stay in one's life and just get by. The Fair invites us to get out of our comfort zones (it's probably closer to how people who live in villages live) - it presents us with the opportunity to make and test out new connections rapidly. As that's happening we all get stressed and balls drop and balls are juggled exquisitely, too! This is how we learn. I did my fair share of magic and messes this year and I look forward to coming back next year to do it all again.
I feel so grateful and thankful that the Oregon Country Fair exists. Thank you wise and wonderful Eugenians (mostly) who spend countless hours, blood, sweat, tears, and money to make this available to people. As I heard on the path a number of times - Oregon Country Fair forever!