It took me a while to find a place to park, but, finally I could take my food contribution and head toward the house. The (incredibly formal) invitation stated “Vegi Pot Luck” so I was armed with a large, dense orange cake and a huge bowl of spinach pesto pasta salad.
As I approached the house, the cacophony of sound began resolving itself into rock music, from the barn, folk/Irish mixture from the deep, farmer's porch, and flutes and hand-drums from across the field. Looking that way, I saw the May-pole being set up, its streamers blowing in the wind. Some Morris dancers were practicing, nearby. Hands came from both sides to relieve me of my burden of food, replacing it with a chubby, smiling blond toddler.
“Whose baby is this,” I asked. No one answered. I grinned into the big blue eyes and asked, “What's your name?”
“'Am',” he replied with a wiggle, “Down!”
I thought about it, but our proximity to the road with its 40 mph was too great a risk and, settling him on my hip, I mounted the steps to the kitchen, There, the atmosphere made bedlam seem like a lullaby and chaos a gentle breeze, but the overriding bursts of laughter and snatches of song labeled it festivity.
“Give me my child,” gurgled a voice, “and take this,” as toddler was swapped for giant bowl and I was steered right through the kitchen and out the back door. “That goes in the barn.” A bit dazed, but beginning to find my stride, I headed toward the rock music. In the barn a hoard of children and assorted adults were dancing to music from three guitars, a mandolin, a conga drum and a cornet. Two children spotted my bowl and ran up, demanding “GOLDFISH!” I glanced into the bowl and, sure enough it held a year's supply of goldfish crackers. I set it down and they filled their fists.
“Hey, girl,” yelled the drummer, never missing a beat,“try some of that mead. It's my best batch, yet!” But as I reached toward it, a jug was shoved into my hand.
“Just taste this first,” said the hand's owner, “It's my special potion and it's reeeeally good; nothing poisonous or psychodelic, but it has a kick. If you like it, you can have a jug for your very own” She was right it was REEEEEEALLY good, and we exchanged grins as I accepted the offer.
Things got hazy pretty quickly after that, but I do remember dancing around the maypole (I can't quite recall if it was at sunset or sunrise, but I was there.) and there was a strong salute to the porcelain god somewhere in the dark reaches of the night, and somewhere there exists a photo of me trying to Morris dance – something I can't imagine myself doing.
A good time was had by all.