It was about 9pm and the fire was crackling hot and bright under the tall thin trees. We were about an hour in to warm conversation and friendship after a deep evening of ritual. The logs popped and crackled, sending sparks in gentle display of spirit and celebration. The Ancestors had visited us today.
And they were with us now. As the conversation turned to the ways of the world, to the challenges we all faced in our lives, as we sat there in rag-tag lawn chairs, on camp stools and smooth worn stumps, the warm light dancing on hopeful faces, sharing stories of community, transformation and the myriad ways our beloved ones who have passed on before us had prepared us for our lives, how they helped us define our purpose here on earth…how they had touched our lives so often, so deeply….sometimes in ways we could never imagine.
We came to a quiet point there in the firelight, yet cool under the insistent glow of the moon. And we knew we had to find a way to thank them, the Ancestors, to hold them in continued reverence and gratitude…to remember them in a world that would rather have us forget…and step stumbling into our uncertain futures unaided by the best they had to offer us, their genius, their time-worn traditions and best beloved intentions for our best and brightest future now.
There in that flickering light, the World Ancestor Concert was born…sparked out of the heart of a village in the woods of New York…born a beautiful, incendiary love letter yet unopened from those that gave us precious life itself…there in the sacred light of that primal element of fire – the portal to the Ancestors.