Festival of Joy 2007

A day of music, children’s fun, spirituality, healing, community and lights.

Even while we were setting up people wandered through on the glorious Saturday morning.  As the food stalls went up the walk was lined with the Health and Harmony healing tent, drumming and East Timorese wares, Irish music and instruments, Buddhist stall with so many gifts to the community and Labyrinth wares and mobiles by Janet.  Cittaslow (Slow Foods) conducted their first two kitchen garden workshops and we had a natural no power wood turner demonstrating.  For the younger kids mobile minders created activities, Katoomba Men’s Shed (Laurie) made a tipi with the older kids.  There was also face painting, making lanterns and mosaicing. Pinwheels that the children created for International Peace day lined the Apple walk.

A hot spot and total hive of activity was Michael Burt’s tree sculpture which was being mosaiced by many little hands.  Michael hardly kept up with it as so many wanted to contribute their creativity.  The colours are so vibrant – flowers will always be in bloom.

The music started with the celestial sounds of Shemore and continued during the day till 5.30pm.  We had wonderful guitarists, singers, shakuhachi flute and crystal bowls.  A mild level of frustration was felt with technical difficulties, but even if some of the organisers felt a bit stressed the audience looked serene and that’s the main thing. (we will have a better sound system next time!).

The closing ceremony was begun with drumming and dancing, it could have gone on forever.  Jacinta Tobin welcomed to country and had the kids hopping, being emu’s and dancing around the labyrinth.  We had a beautiful moment as we were doing the Om Shanti chant – all the children with lanterns made their way up the apple walk and coiled around the labyrinth to the sounds of “I am the light I am the peace of the world”.  As they sat down a shooting star went right across the sky.  People felt uplifted and joyous at this stunning meteorite show.  Ruby Bloomers sang and danced and the Tarek dancers stunned us with their beautiful jade water like costumes, they danced, sang and led the audience to the grand finale – burning and releasing to the ether all of the good wishes contributed to the raindrop on the day.

The content of the festival sums up the gardens – nurturing people, health, food, healing, art, music, spirituality, love, joy, and most of all happiness and fun.

Every year the feeling of joy is built on as the community and organisations come to expect and participate in this lovely event.  Creating community connection, joy, peace and hope. We hope that those who contributed to or attended this festival will come and use and enjoy the gardens throughout the year.  It is a resource there for everyone, big, small, young or old.

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