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What did you take home from Wild Goose 2016? Tell us your story.

By July 14, 2016October 10th, 2016Featured-1


The theme of the Goose this year has been Story. Because stories are important. Our lives are shaped by them. Our world is shaped by them. And too often the loudest stories we hear around us are ones of exclusion and scarcity, violence, hatred, division.

But we came together for four days in July on the banks of the French Broad River, to tell and share some new stories, to hear stories, heal stories, sing and dance and paint stories, to lament the painful stories we’ve been through, and to receive, reshape and reimagine the stories of our lives and our world. Because we believe it makes a difference.

Did it make a difference? What stories did you hear, what stories did you create and tell and discover this year at Wild Goose? What moments rearranged you?  Changed you? Opened your eyes and heart?

Share your Wild Goose 2016 stories with us. We want to hear them. And share them with our broader community here.

To do that you can simply write your story in the comments section below. If you write a blog about your experience at the festival, share that link with us as well.

Let’s not let the storytelling end just because the festival is over. Because Wild Goose can be so much more than a festival…we hope it will be an ongoing conversation in which we can listen to each other, support each other and inspire each other.

Join the discussion 16 Comments

  • Foodies, like roadies, get to set up before the crowd and tear down after the crowd is gone. While I finished up the normal ‘week’ at Ashe Outreach, Willie, Bryna, #2 and Eloura were already at work setting up ‘One Heart Cafe’ with moi arriving late in the day Wednesday to help finish up and prepare for opening day. Feeding the crowd at the Goose is always a hoot, and being with one of the vendors with a ‘Cube’ enabling us to take plastic for payment turned into a constant string of comedy moments, phone waving in air waiting for the “great credit god in the sky to bless this transaction” while waiting for the (better than last year) cantankerous cell signal to cooperate.

    Wild Goose has provided a marvelous venue for my continued Spiritual growth .. openness and closeness together maintain harmonious energies, and our placement right at the main stage means catching the headliners while continuing to serve others .. a winning combination. Working with a friend and family beside another friend and family enables one to more easily see E V E R Y O N E as the family they truly are, including the one lady who had purchased from us several times during her stay who came by twice on Sunday morning, then saw me further up the river as I was doing walkabout, then back at main stage area, then around the bookstore ‘zone’ – already packed and emptied – then about an hour later, we just about bumped into each other as I was looking at some of the remaining art work .. “Are You Everywhere?” she asked … and my answer, “shhhh” was due to that Spirit that inhabits the space while we are there … and in those few moments there with her, we were sharing that Spirit that IS Wild Goose .. and wondering WHY so many people were in such a hurry to leave. ”

    We cleaned up and started the packing, but we also cleaned up ourselves and headed into town to let the good folks at the Spring Creek Tavern prepare US a meal .. shoe on the other foot kind of thing, after which I finished packing up my personal gear and two of the children that were going to travel back with me for other planned activities that precluded them waiting on mom .. arriving home to my abode after delivering them somewhere in the 2:30 – 3:00 am range .. you know, just another 21 hour day, so later in the day as I was traveling to meet with a client and get a phone call from the chair of the Ashe Outreach board with the first words from him most emphatically stated, “YOU NEED TO SLOW DOWN” .. me, “Huh?” .. him, “You Need to SLOW DOWN, you ran me off the road yesterday” .. me, “really? where?” .. “down the River Road from Todd” .. which happened to be pretty much where I was driving at the time and with a pullout available I used it .. “What time would it have been when I did this, Ricky?” to which he replied “you know when it was,” “actually Ricky I don’t,” “about 2:30 – 3:00″ ” in the afternoon?” “Well, yes, what would I be doing there at that time of the morning?” “Interesting Ricky .. You’re sure it was me that ran you off the road?” “Rita said it was you” .. “Well Ricky, you’re gonna have to tell Rita to check her vision, cause I was eating with my friends in Hot Springs when you say I ran you off the road, but I really needed to hear you tell me to slow down .. really”

    Really .. in essence he was telling me in those two words a succinct summary of the deep message of the Goose .. S L O W D O W N .. in this world driving itself faster and faster at the brick wall of the Spiritual and Moral poverty currently afflicting the entire Eaarth … S L O W D O W N .. See you in July !

    Live – Laugh – Love
    These are sacred times. ❤️
    Mitakue Oyas’in
    Mni Wiconi

  • Dana Woodruff says:

    We absolutely love the Goose and the family we have there. In this picture, front and center, leading the parade is our little one, Laney. She looks forward to every year. This past was probably the most
    Memorable for her. She enjoyed freedom like never before.

    My husband and I headed up the Metchandise tent. Working with our volunteers was fantastic! Such comradarie among the group! Plus in the merch tent we had an opportunity to not only make new friends, but also catch up with old friends as well. The Goose is a true slice of Heaven! ❤❤❤

  • Mary Cummings says:

    I was registered to volunteer/attend the Wild Goose Festival for 2016 – a planned return with my sister Susan from a memorable experience in 2015. In early May Susan was diagnosed with with glioblastoma (brain cancer) and after surgery and treatment she still had her heart set on attending – that is until her doctor said that the travel, camping, and rough terrain of the festival grounds would not be appropriate given her rapidly deteriorating condition; she was devastated. So, we missed the Goose for 2016. It could have been a melancholy weekend here in Florida as we were both longed for the spirit and bonding we found in Hot Springs with kindred folks and new friends – but we found peace with family and friends who came together to celebrate Susan and her incredible spirit, spunk and humor. I will be attending this year, but sadly I will come alone as my sister Susan “slipped the surly bonds of Earth … and touched the face of God” (words from High Flight by Magee) in September.

  • Rev. Meg Wilkes says:

    Can you imagine being elated while broken down on the side of the road, waiting for a tow truck for over 3 hrs? That’s what happens when you’ve spent 4 days at the Wild Goose Festival, filled up with HOLY SPIRIT LOVE until nothing matters….. but God and neighbor.
    When my daughter, our dear friend and I left the festival this year, my jeep radiator blew! We pulled over less than 3 miles from Hot Springs and with a few small pleasures – some left over water, a piece of fruit and a drum – we celebrated life stranded on the side of a beautiful mountain. We talked, we laughed and we napped. What a great time to debrief and reflect on the life shaping experiences we had shared – beer and hymn singing, poetry and spoken word, dance/movement and contemplative prayer spaces, the river….., midnight drum circles, incredible music, challenging messages and the kind of worship Jesus must have been talking about when he told the woman at the well that one day she would worship God in Spirit and Truth! While waiting for the tow truck, we met a man whose property we were using as a safe sanctuary who told us his own story – about a wife who was suffering, about losing a grandchild, about the inheritance of this piece of land from his family and about loving and trusting in humanity. Our foreheads were still painted pink with the sign of the cross from closing worship at the Wild Goose. We ended up sharing and hearing stories with the tow truck folks (a dad and his son) and the mechanic (a young fella and his family) who repaired my
    jeep that day. Our hearts had been opened to “story” and we made the connection immediately beyond the festival and into our actual world with the people we were meeting along the way. The Spirit was palpable. Never did we feel faint. Only energized and hopeful. This is what it means to have wings. Thanks to The Wild Goose and all her children. still flying!!!!!!

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  • Lisa Kramme says:

    Even though I’m 51 years old, I feel like a rookie when it comes to most things in life. Take blogging for instance. And camping. Festival going for sure. It was my first Wild Goose Festival, and the experience continues to have a deep impact in my life. Even the rocks were my teachers.

  • anita brown says:

    Had I known one of the main reasons I returned to Wild Goose was to publicly share my story in the TenX9 tent Friday afternoon of what occured in a different much smaller tent the prior year, I might have stayed home. I signed up to tell a much happier story– one where I met my birth father last September for the first time in 50 years. But as the hour approached, I knew in my spirit I was to share of the patriarchal trauma and drama of my first goose. My heart pounded and my palms began to sweat but I followed His leading to speak my truth.

    Summer 2015, my first festival, I thoroughly enjoyed my time by the French Broad, making fast friends. And then as part of a heart-synch therapy I was exposed to a person with an agenda..not someone open and curious to creating a safe space but someone who wanted to know if I planned to use my gifts in the world for things other than yoga. HUHHHH??? Someone who suggested there was a resistant, hard part of my heart that had not yet accepted Christ. Really?? I insisted…I love Jesus!!

    Then I was no longer adult Anita and I began crying out– I dont want to die like Jesus!!

    Why didnt I notice the look of judgment when I said that I was a yoga teacher, here at the festival to share my gift? Why didnt I trust myself enough to leave at that point? No, I stayed and regressed and ultimately gave my innocence over to someone I had no relationship with, no trust had developed between us. An important lesson for this 50 year-old woman.

    But God will use every imperfect attempt to heal. God will use every cry to draw us near. My howls, like a wild wounded animal that day, echoed off the mountainside. My screams absorbed into the French Broad, joined with all women’s screams — we are not filled with demons. We are filled with pain and unhealed trauma. What you sense as resistance to a ‘belief’ is an inner child in search of God the Father’s mercy, God the Mother’s grace.

    I turned to my own heart. I went deep inside and kept asking the question– can I trust you??? Do I trust this stranger and his attempts to guilt me, to tell me the demons need to be released?? Or do I stay the course and patiently allow you to reveal what darkness was exposed. Just a few weeks later, on my yoga mat, the darkness of infant trauma would be released from my physical body. The body remembers.

    And a few weeks after that the trauma would revisit as a two year old boy in my neighborhood would die at the hands of an adult most likely by suffocation. Finally on my 50th birthday the truth was spoken and everything I ‘knew’ somatically was confirmed. I too, nearly died in infancy by drowning…explaining my unreasonable fear of water and claustrophobia.

    But best of all was how in my morning meditation the day after the heart-synch, Christ himself placed a crown on my head in my Wild Goose tent. Mystically, mysteriously He dried my tears and calmed my fears. He explained how when you go in search of healing– say lust for example, you get to the root of trauma explaining away how the wound is connected to the sin. It’s all connected. And its all being healed perfectly in His timing.

    The looks on the audience faces said it all. This was the Wild Goose story I had come to share.

  • isadora galjour says:

    WildGoose to me represents a grand, spiritual, social metamorphosis that is very much invigorating. It is a place where friendly souls met to share, encourage, inspire, enjoy, enlighten, listen and love. It is all this; all this and more. This is where I go to meet open minded lovers of truth, and where my heart opens to learn more about my beautiful human, spiritual family.

  • Micah Royal says:

    I am doing a series of blog posts on my experience at Wild Goose —

  • I hope this write-up about what my first Goose gave me, gives you almost as much!
    – Kendall Heath

  • Lenora Rand says:

    While I was at Wild Goose, hearing people’s stories, even leading a workshop about telling our stories, about telling the truth of our messy, wonderful lives, I realized there was a story I haven’t been willing to tell. A story about fear of the “other” – and about how confusing and complicated it can all be sometimes. So I started writing that story while I was at the Goose, and last week posted it on my blog. Here’s the link.

  • My first Wild Goose was fantastic. The Sugar Shack was great; the Just Write food truck was great; Honeybee Coffee was a lifesaver! Plus the music was AMAZING and the people were cool. I hope I get to visit beautiful North Carolina again.

    Thanks for hosting such a great event!

  • Drew Downs says:

    Last year it was my spouse and I. This time she stayed home with our four year-old and I brought our 8 year-old. It was so different!

  • Photographing the festival I had a very slight run-in with a member of the road staff of one of the touring bands on the Main Stage. Not a big deal, mostly a misunderstanding. Even so, I was a little put off. The next morning he and I ended up at the same food concession. I noticed him and he noticed me and I made a quick decision. We both had coffee, and I made a little comment about needing to get our fix. He laughed. I laughed. We ended up talking for 10 minutes. We had a few mutual friends of friends of friends and we’d traveled to some of the same places. He’s a decent guy. Because the likelihood that he and I will meet again is slim, that was probably my last chance ever to mend a small hole in a little fence. If there’s a spirit at work at Wild Goose, I think that may have been, for me, the most concrete evidence of it. The Wild Goose Festival addresses monumental challenges like #BlackLivesMatter, LGBTQ and gender-minority rights and being a decent human being in a spiritually convergent world. In the face of that this tiny moment was a reminder to me that, given the chance, it’s always best to build a bridge.

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