March 2012, I was in Austin, TX. I was in the third month of traveling with the Manifesting Mobile, my community engagement art project. I had found a wonderful place to share in exchange for walking dogs for a month. It was spring and there were so many fun events that I attended to invite people to make a circle for the hanging mobile.
FAST FORWARD — March 11-13, 2022, the Manifesting Mobile was part of the Llano Earth Arts Festival (LEAF) in Llano, TX
This happened because of divine intervention and a few cool women I met on Linked In.
First, I met Courtney Burton on a virtual networking group Lady Bosses Virtual on LinkedIN. Courtney introduced me to her friend Jean Berry who then introduced me to Gretchen Hinkle who happens to be good friends with Carin Channing who I met in March 2012 with the Manifesting Mobile. It was Gretchen who got the invitation to the Llano Earth Arts Festival for me. I got the invitation on February 26, two weeks from the festival. I made the decision to go February 28 and asked artist Isak Dove to assist me. Isak had 12 hours to make the decision because of the need to secure an assistant to come with me.
The plan was to drive to Llano, TX, a small town one and half hours north of Austin. They were providing a 10×20 tent with walls and free camping. This was the 8th LEAF and first since the pandemic. In fact, during the 2020 LEAF, they were closed down two hours before the end due to COVID shutdown. There was definitely an after pandemic feeling of relief in the air.
Once Isak agreed to join me, I immediately felt so relaxed knowing that I wouldn’t be alone. And this was truly the best thing about the entire trip was I didn’t do it alone!! Isak was a great driver, liked similar music, enjoyed some podcasts, and easy to talk to.
We arrived to Llano on Thursday morning – it was a beautiful day – if only it had stayed this temperature all weekend. I made sure to enjoy this day as much as I could because I knew the next day was going to be rough. Real rough! The temperature dropped from 75 to 32. I am grateful I made the decision to stay in a hotel on Friday. Staying in a hotel all day wasn’t in my expectation of this trip but I know it’s important to be flexible and flowing. Plus I had a chance to watch old movies on Turner Classics channel !
Wasn’t it a beautiful day on Thursday?! Can you see the guy stacking rocks in the river?
Saturday morning was gorgeous and the hanging of the mobile was super easy. This hanging was the first time complete strangers walked through the strands. The response was very interesting. Some people were drawn to the tent as they passed by to go look at the rock art in the river bed. They would tell their families, friends, and partners to go on ahead, they wanted to see what these circles were. I also think the words, PLANET PEOPLE PROSPERITY PEACE seemed to intrigue people to ask what is in the tent.
I learned very quickly not to say too much too quickly about the mobile. I liked to share that it is a hanging mobile of circles with a positive vision for the planet, people, prosperity, and peace. Walk through it – if you can, what’s one word that it makes you feel. Here are some of the words Life, Inclusivity, Dizzy, Artistic, Humble, Beautiful, Choices, Happy and Refreshing. The word “humble” really moved Isak and myself when this young girl around the age of 9-11 softly spoke, “humble”. All of the other words really described how you feel in the mobile and in life.
Another interesting thing that happened on the first day we were there was finding an old political sign. Why you ask? I had actually thought about taking one of the political signs I had to make a sign and decided against it at the last moment. To find one randomly on the first day shows me that whatever you need will appear. This happened throughout the trip!
As the sun was setting on Sunday, I began to feel the rush of emotions. All the things that had happened up to Sunday night were rushing through me – anticipation of coming to a completely unknown location to meet strangers, camping in the cold weather, the love people shared about the mobile, the energy of the people, and having to sleep in a tent one more night just made me feel really emotional! I am grateful that I had a friend with me. Isak was able to make my feelings be heard as well as make me see where the emotion was leading the action. So instead of packing up all of the tents and driving out of town, Isak reminded me that there was a hotel 5 minutes from the festival. This would be more sense for both of us. She booked the room for me.
The decision for me to stay in the hotel Sunday night was an excellent choice! At the hotel I had a lavender epsom salt hot bath and cucumber facial mask, courtesy of my friend Ambereen. She had come to LEAF to support me all the way from Houston on Saturday night. She stopped by to say goodby and just so happened to have all the fixings for a spa night.
Monday morning, I awoke ready to get back on the road to Savannah. I drove to pick up Isak who was packing up the tents for both of us. Isak had one of those magical spontaneous moments that you’ll remember for the rest of your life at this festival. I love that this happened for her while working with the Manifesting Mobile.
NOW BACK TO THE TRAVEL STORY:
I had my emotional meltdown on Sunday night, I spent the night at the hotel and Monday morning, I picked up Isak to head to Austin. First destination is my cousin Elizabeth’s house so Isak can take a shower. We weren’t spending the night here because her dad, Ben, was visiting. Ben grilled burgers for us. Lunch was so delicious sitting in the backyard, just chilling. Around 4:30pm, all of us went and played putt putt golf.
On our way to our next stop, we found an Ethiopian restaurant.
We both love Ethiopian food! Another synchronistic moment.
We get to Mike’s house and the boyfriend of my friend Kathy who was out of town visiting her mother, opens the door. He has created two rooms for us with air mattresses. This was such a lovely feeling of being welcomed as weary travelers. Next morning, I awake to find Isak and Mike sitting on the back patio sitting by the gas fire pit. Mike makes really good coffee with half/half and sugar! After a nice relaxing morning chat, we got to the car and headed to our next resting spot, Gaitier MS.
This was the “long 10 hour drive” day. We were invited to stay with Moon, a woman I met years ago at Land of 2 Sands. She reached out on FB and invited us. Of course, we said yes! The drive was long yet so doable with two people trading on and off. We get to Moon’s sanctuary around 9:30pm and go directly to sleep. Next morning, I awake and find Isak and Moon sitting on the porch drinking coffee. This is when Isak says, “She has a hot tub!” We sat in that hot tub for an hour overlooking a peaceful spring pond. The ride back to Savannah was so much better because of this
The last 3 hours of the drive we chose to go through the small towns of Georgia instead of taking highways. The entire trip so far had offered so many gifts of joy – we wanted to add the joy of driving on back roads to the list.
Once home, I began to crash. I had thought I could use Thursday to recuperate …. However, it took until Sunday to fully feel myself again. I tried to stay focused on my to-do list but I couldn’t find the energy.
This started to make me frustrated and anxious. When I feel frustration, I know it’s time for me to take a moment to relax and be gentle with myself. Frustration means I need to recharge my energy. I allowed myself to chill and watch fun movies.
By allowing myself to remember it is so important to relax in the flow. Which then reminds me that being patient is a lesson I will always teaching myself.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to exhibit the Manifesting Mobile at LEAF and for all of the lessons and insights I received. There is still so much to be revealed from this experience. Which I will be sharing!!!
I must not forget to mention THERE WAS THE EARTH ART! Omg!
I’m definitely going back to Llano for LEAF as a festival goer – I could spend hours looking at the rock stacks. Here’s a video from the photos – looking for my rocks that I stacked. I’m definitely hooked on stacking rocks as a meditative practice.