The Spoutwood May Day Fairie Festival happens every year on Beltane weekend (May Day), and during that three day festival on the charming, rolling hills of eastern Pennsylvania, the portal between our world and the faerie realms open, and–just for those three days–you can enter a land of magick and myth unlike any you’ve ever seen. I speak of it with all the love in my heart, because that three day festival has been one of the most immovable touchstones of our year. Twelve years ago, I proposed to Jenn on those green, rolling hills, having just experienced with her the very first nonjudgmental, loving day we had ever had as a couple. We were both wearing wings, I knelt on that beautiful, grassy hill, and I told her how much I loved her, and how I wanted every moment of the rest of my life to be with her (spoiler alert–very tearily she said “yes.” ♥ ♥ ♥ ).
So, each year (except for a few impossible years) we’ve gone back to what is, for three days, Home.
Jenn and I had experienced a lot of homophobia in the first few months we’d been together, right before going to that very first (for us) Fairie Festival so many years ago. Her mail had been stolen (the police got involved, it was pretty terrible), hateful graffiti had been spray-painted on her parking spot at her apartment building, and we were genuinely afraid. We’d gotten screamed at for holding hands, JUST HOLDING HANDS, in public, and it seemed that the whole world hated us for being who we were. We were tired. We were heart-weary, but we were so deeply in love…
And then we came to the Fairie Festival.
That very first day, we held hands tightly, walking along the magickal fairie paths on that beautiful farm. I kissed her cheek, we danced together, and you know what happened?
People smiled at us. People cheered when they saw us dancing. A guy called out to us on the way out of the festival that night: “the fairies love it when you love each other!”
For the first time in our lives, we were accepted. We were loved. And, for the first time, I felt safe enough to do what I’d been wanting to do for months…
You can see why, that evening, at the Fairie Festival, I proposed to my wife. ♥
Being held and nurtured by that festival is the hallmark of what the Spoutwood Fairie Festival truly is. For those few days, you can be yourself, whoever you are. You know that you are wholly safe, that within the confines of the ribbon fences, there is magic all around you, and that you are not alone. That you are surrounded by fellow faeries who hold this space of nurturing acceptance for you, just as you hold it for them.
Yesterday morning we made the now mini-road trip (I CAN’T BELIEVE WE NOW LIVE IN THE SAME STATE AS THE FAIRIE FESTIVAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! insert a million more exclamation marks here 🙂 ) from one end of Pennsylvania to another, and we drove up onto the beautiful hill, parking in the meadow alongside many other cars, full of smiling faces and about a metric ton of glitter (I’m fairly certain that if you added up the amount of glitter everyone wears to the Fairie Festival over those three days, it’d be way more than a metric ton!).
And, magically, we were in the place that I know best in the world that celebrates life and living and love and magick. And now it was time to enter the portal to the realm of Fairie.
But, this time, we made the trip to Fairie-land with Poesy!
We kept making the joke that this is where our fur-child was conceived. ;D NOT ACTUALLY TRUE. We brought Poesy because she LOVES PEOPLE and we thought she’d adore the festival, and since we were only going for one day this year, it seemed the perfect time. But, we were BLOWN AWAY by how much she loved it and everyone there. ♥ She had SO MUCH FUN, and had on her happy-Poesy-face allllllll daaaaaay. ♥ ♥ ♥
(This photo was taken by James! ♥ )
Every year, we plan our costumes for a VERY LONG TIME–it’s serious business to us! ♥ BUT, this year’s costume plans were completely derailed when Jenn came up with an AMAZING IDEA a few days before the festival! I scrapped what I was originally going to do, because it was SUCH A GOOD IDEA.
I have been writing about werewolves since I was a kid–their wildness and mythical nobility and courage mean quite a great deal to me, so the fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood is one of my absolute favorites. Jenn thought it’d be a good idea if we did a recreation of that, and she even made me my headpiece/crown!
AND I LOVE HOW IT ALL TURNED OUT!!!!
The wolf has spotted Little Red! (Photo by Marian!)
Uh-oh…the wolf is ON THE HUNT.
I CAUGHT HER! (I love this picture SO DAMN MUCH.
A fairy tale family. ♥ (Photo by Marian!)
These photos by Marian. ♥ ♥ ♥
Jenn’s Little Red Riding Hood costume was such a dream. ♥ Her sister crocheted that cloak for her!
I love this woman so much!!!!!!!!!! ♥
My sister is AMAZING and got us some of the Space Paste glitter from Lemonhead Cosmetics! Jenn LITERALLY HAD STARS IN HER HAIR. ♥
I look this mischievous pretty much ALL THE TIME. ;D Photo by Jenn! ♥
Pure magic. ♥
We were SO HAPPY to meet up with Ruby and Marian minutes after arriving at the festival! We haven’t seen them in SO LONG and I cried because I’ve missed them so much. ♥ ♥ ♥ POESY MISSED HER AUNTS TREMENDOUSLY AS WELL. ♥
They are some of the best people in this whole universe. ♥
We love them so damn much. ♥ ♥ ♥ (Photo by James!)
AND THEN WE FOUND JAMES! Who is ALSO one of the best people in this whole damn universe. ♥ ♥ ♥ I love him so, so much–he’s an enormous part of our created family, and a fairy brother. ♥ ♥ ♥
This is what love looks like. ♥
It rained on and off throughout the day. The grounds were muddy. And yet, there was magic everywhere. ♥ (Photo by James!)
I love these people (and this pup) with my whole heart. ♥
The day was magic, and I’m so grateful for the happy memories to add to my treasure chest of happy moments in my storied life. ♥ Much love to each and every fairy who shared that space with us, who has in the past, who will in the future.
I leave you with a song I first heard at the festival, many years ago. It holds all the magic of that place for me, and I share it with you tonight, my heart heavy at the fact that the festival–for the first time in its 26 years (that I know of) has to be closed tomorrow, on its last day, due to the rain and mud making the grounds unsafe. My heart is full of love and gratitude and, at the same time, heartbroken for the vendors, for the festival itself, for everyone involved and everyone who won’t get to experience it tomorrow. My heart is there and with all my fellow fae. Much, much love. ♥
We weave a music curiously pure
A crystal song suspended
We fly on wings diaphanous as light
Dancing till the long night is ended