It’s the first of July. Mark Pitstick is having a July 4th party at his house. It’s an annual affair, but the first time we’ve been close enough to Mark to be honored to have been extended an invitation. Kayla’s in Spain. Shayna isn’t physically here. So, there’s no need to hang around West Chester for the Saturday before the 4th. We make arrangements to have Lexi let the dogs out while we’re gone and we pack up the car to make the 1-½ hour drive to Chilicothe, OH. In the four plus decades I’ve lived in Ohio, I’ve never been to Chilllicothe.
We bring a pasta salad to the party. It’s always challenging when you’re going to a party with people you’ve never met to decide what kind of dish to bring. Mark is really into nutritional health (I just hope he doesn’t become a Breatharian at some point). He drinks these green smoothies he’s concocted. I’m not sure if he drinks alcohol. So, we bring a few bottles of wine, just in case. I’m not (yet) on any of these gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, soy free, daily free, etc., etc. diets. I’ll pretty much eat anything. But, clearly, this is not that crowd. Before we eat, Andy (who is engaged to Mark) gives us the run down on each dish she has provided and the people who prepared the dishes give a quick overview of what’s in it and how it was prepared. I’m halfway paying attention at this point because if I looks good, I’ll at least try it. It doesn’t matter if it has gluten or if you already put the dressing on the salad or left it to the side. I feel like a heathen, but oh well. The way I look at it is we aren’t meant to live forever in these bodies and we were given the sense of taste to enjoy. We begin the meal with a prayer. Interesting. In the Christian gatherings I grew up with, we always start our meals with prayers. But, my guess is very few here would identify as Christian. The prayer is not rote. And, I sense everyone here feels it deeply and sincerely. We know we are all here to serve mankind and we are grateful for the opportunity. We are on a mission.
As we begin eating, Tywana and I notice that most people it seem are not drinking alcohol. But, as we began to assess from our conversations before we sat down to eat, none of these people are in a normal state of consciousness most of the time. They are not seeking alcohol to alter their moods. Many of them see spirits on a regular basis. They view what we call “reality” in a different way, much more sensitive to the subtle energies around us. One guy can put a numerical value on the “energy” in a space and describes how he’s sensed it going from a 400 to a 2,000 based on services that were performed at the time. We share stories of experiences that most people wouldn’t share with their best friends, let alone in a room full of people they have never met. Some of these people have been coming to this party for years. I feel a bit out of place because I’ve never had these experiences. What I do share with them is the knowing though. I know that we are spiritual beings having a human experience. I know I am not my body. I have no doubt that each story, no matter how unbelievable, is true. I am honored to be included in this gathering and in awe of the experiences they have had. It’s so amazing to be in a room full of people who see the world the way I see the world.
After we eat, we head outside to sit by Mark’s pond in a drum circle. I’ve never sat in a drum circle. Our leaders are another guy named Mark who knows all about Native American (or is it Indian?) culture. He leads us in several songs. A woman who plays the didgeridoo plays several tunes for us. How she did that without passing out, I don’t know. Before she does that, she performs a ceremony to invite in our ancestors from the seven directions (four compass points, Mother Earth below, Father Sky above, and within us). Mark regales us with some fireworks and we head back inside where we continue our conversations. A gentleman gives us a lesson on loving ourselves, how to replenish that love on a daily and continual basis and even does a demonstration for us. We talk about the ultimate nature of reality- at this point there are about ten of sitting in a circle in Mark’s living room. It’s getting late, but it’s clear no one wants to leave. We have several impromptu prayers/meditations. The room grows warm (almost instantly). People say they can sense the energy passing through the circle as we stand and hold hands. Two different people describe a vision of seeing lightning strike in the middle of the circle. Midnight passes. The party started at 5. We got there about 5:05 and people were already there. 7 hours has passed and Mark’s joking about having to kick people out (maybe he was joking). Finally, one of the attendees asks if she can give a blessing to the people who are left. She’s certified in giving two types of blessings Individually, she goes around one I believe is the flowering heart blessing. The other is the Oneness blessing. I’ve heard of the Oneness blessing and even attended a ceremony to have that once. So, I go with that. As she is giving me the blessing, for one of the only times in my life, I can sense my angels and guardians around me. I don’t see them or get any names or anything cool like that. But, I feel them there supporting me and telling me I am not alone on this mission.
Finally, people are starting to leave. Tywana and I retire to what will be our room for the night. I’ve been focusing on dreams because of a book I’m reading, but I don’t recall any dreams recently. Probably not for a couple of weeks. Tonight, I have a dream that I’m working with Mark on a project where we’re counseling people and someone has sent in a question I go to him for advice on how to answer. It’s the first time I’ve ever dreamt of Mark.
In the morning, we get ready to hit the road back to West Chester. The other overnight guests, another couple, are having the smoothies they brought for breakfast. Andy and Mark share with the rest of us their magical concoctions. I’m not converted to being a smoothie guy or giving up my meat or alcohol, yet. But, this party has been like a mini spiritual retreat. It was amazing to meet people with whom I could be completely myself, immediately, share the most intimate details of my spiritual journey, and be completely accepted. I hope we are invited and able to attend next year.