This years Tales to Sustain (T2S) gathering was a smaller more intimate gathering which I only just found out about a few weeks before. Thirteen other storytellers from around the UK bringing a vast amount of, but very differing, experience and approach.
Located at the BurnLaw Centre, an organic farm of 45 acres of pasture, old and new woodland, wetland, orchard and kitchen garden, in the Northumberland, North Pennines not far from Haydon Bridge, While there the sun shone, the landscape lit up and in the evening the stars shone like I have never seen before. One of our group, Jon was so star struck one evening that he walked back to our dormitory through the pond.
All Four days I was constantly in a state of disbelief. The story of Jonah and many more allegorical tales that match the cyclical disappearance of the moon matched identically our four days and three nights outside of our ‘normal’ worlds. The thirteen storytellers matching the thirteen moons that had been and gone since the last event at Cae Mabon. The chance to listen and absorb some of the most passionate and eloquent stories about sustainability ever created, and a surreal moment when on arrival I met two lads who showed me the International Frisbee Golf Course outside our dormitory that I had only ever (very recently) experienced on the Wii Sports Resort. If ever I thought I was imagining my own reality this had to be my best yet.
The centre itself is a fabulous mix of traditional old farmhouse, living community and religious retreat with its Yurt, Kiln, Lovers Lake, Labyrinth and Temple of Love. The welcome, and way we were instantly treat as part of their community was an example to us all.