Something Pandora wrote in her blog today sparked a memory of the most recent OLTOEAS Beltaine that I attended.
There was a largish maypole in the center of a lovely grassy space. There were plenty of ribbons for everyone who wanted to participate. What was so funny was that there must have been 80 – 100 people who wanted to participate. It was the slowest maypole dance I have ever seen. The pole and ribbons simply weren’t long enough to facilitate space between each person allowing for a dance. It was a sardine maypole, all those people in a big circular cluster moving like turtles. it was sometimes 3-4 people deep trying to intertwine and move in opposite directions. I wish I could have taken a picture because I’m finding it difficult to illustrate with words how truly hilarious it was to watch. It was this dance that helped me see what fun it can be to be a merchant even if you aren’t selling anything. You get to watch the circus.
Eventually some of the participants saw the futility of it all and left and things loosened up a bit but I think it took 30 minutes at least for them to make their way around and wrap that pole. one step pause pause two step pause pause three step pause pause…. People could have been having sexual congress and I bet no one would have known… But there were children in the dance so I doubt that happened although I bet a few folks thought about it.