This one worked for me. I'm not sure what the chemistry was that caused it to work so well this time, but it did. Maybe it was the particular mix of people that attended. Maybe it was the effort that Rialian put into it. Maybe the land spirits recognized us and love us. Maybe a little of all three (and more) factors.
I think the fact that there was a choice of gathering Tone contributed greatly. What do I mean by that?
There were four main camps this year, each with its own distinct tone.
The first evening I was there, I spent time at the Dreamsinger camp where they were serving Elderberry wine (a favorite of the fae). There was renewal of friendship with people I hadn't spoken to or seen in a while -- quiet talk into the night -- a magical introduction to a great gathering.
There was the main hearth fire, which was where all the workshops and part of the ritual took place - this year it was more of a quiet place than in years past, which allowed people who wanted to get away from the partying and discuss things of importance to them to do that.
If you didn't want to get away from the partying and in fact wanted to party, there was Cambodia. Here you could find good booze, deep philosophizing into the night with resident Philosopher Pod, expert cooking by Kyrin and Tess, and ubiquitous teeshirts!
Finally, there was the Billage -- at this campsite you could find coffee in the morning, and lighthearted conversation and partying at night.
Aside from the camps, we also had great workshops by those willing to share their knowledge, a fantastic ritual by Eshari, a drum circle with Kibble, a dance night with Wildelf, and Cambodians performing the famous "Man Dance" (don't ask).
So basically, everyone had a choice of where they wanted to go, who they wanted to be with, and what they wanted to do, yet there was a cohesiveness to the gathering with people going back and forth between camps all the time - there was no feeling of "we're better than them" or anything like that. And for once, everyone seemed to get what they wanted out of this gathering.
I don't know if WtT will ever click the same way again - probably not. Every year is different, so if it clicks it will click differently. But at least for this time, it was fun. --Helen