As I arrived at the festival site, it brought back a familiar feeling of all things mystic and magical. It was only a few short weeks ago that I was there to attend the Ness Creek festival where I know I left the event a different person then when I arrived. Nature and spiritualism means more to me than it ever did. I was so caught up in working, making money and supporting my family that flowers and trees and all things nature as well as my spiritual feelings flew through me so fast it had never made a difference before.
I was excited to be back, even if it was only for the day and possibly the following day if that was in the cards. The Northern Lights Bluegrass and Old Tyme Festival was in its second day and although the camp grounds were full some of the attendees stayed inside their trailers as the rain was coming down in buckets.
Three large tents were set up for people to find relief from the damp and the rain. They were full and there was a few brave couples were dancing in front of the stage not caring whether they got wet or not.
My story was going to be about the festival, but my heart says to talk about Ness Creek. I feel different when I am there, like it is the only place on earth at even exists at the time. It is a place where time means nothing, it is a place where you lose sight of your first world troubles and exist among genuine trusting people and fantastic music. Mix everything together and include the beautiful forest and you have ……well everyone is different, you will have to experience it yourself.
I was lucky enough to be able to go backstage where the performers hang out. Heading back there I could hear the sounds of banjos and violins coming from what one may call the mess hall. This isn’t a typical mess hall – this is a cabin like you would find way back in the hills with so much character and wood floors, old furniture and the aroma of a camp stove that has been just reloaded with fresh wood to burn. Performers gather in a circle and just begin playing their instrument or singing and anyone can join in; there are no rules – just a common love for the arts and performing. It’s a love for Ness and the opportunity it brings. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, tall or short, the colour of your hair or the sound of your voice. Everyone is equal, everyone has a part in the weekend whether it be big or small.
There is pockets of activity going on at the festival all the time. Just wander through and you will find groups of people huddled around a fire in the Eco Village, walking throughout the windy trails in the Boreal forest, gathering at their campsites, sitting at picnic tables have some lunch, gathered behind the stage getting ready to perform, kids – the next generation of Ness goers – running around, playing and taking in the majestic air that will follow them into their adult lives.
I’m going back – I have to go back. I’ve come thousands of miles to make Saskatchewan my home and I would have been here earlier if I would have known the road to my brighter future was going to be filled with moments that have taken my breath away. Ness Creek takes my breath away.