We are Symbiotic // Symbiosis Gathering '16

I've been thinkin about the way our community is evolving, Symbiosis's theme of "Family Tree," and you know... they say we're all products of our environment...and well, the apple doesn't fall far from the *Family Tree*.

With so many of us immersed in this west coast festival circuit, developing a lifestyle that supports spending a significant portion of time in a surreal world with a social structure alternative to the masses, we've come to tear down so many of the walls that keep strangers from becoming friends. With the opportunity to immerse in these potent environments on a regular basis, learning together, living together, celebrating together, and building new ways of life together...we not only inevitably grow in strength and love, supporting each other through adaptation and acquisiton of new skills and facets of being, but become real f a m i l y.

There was a moment at Dirtwire sunset where it all hit me ~ the groove had infected us all into ecstatic movement and amidst the whirlwind I took a moment to breathe and look around and take it all in. As my eyes panned across the crowd around me, I saw an innumerable amount of friends I'd made at different times, in different cities all across the country dancing and laughing together... everywhere I looked. My mind tried to piece it all together amongst repetitive thoughts of "what, you guys know each other?!" a seemingly constant exclamation amongst those in this community...and I realized that damn, we are allll merging. No need to introduce, no need to tie strings, we're all passionately intertwining... inevitably as one. A big web of beings in a truly symbiotic relationship. None of us would be who we are today without each other. What an honor to have found this family (again). A friend wanders over and throws an arm around me. "What's in your heart?" he asks. I take a deep breath of the truth that's arising in my consciousness. A tear falls down my face as I stammer in deep gratitude "This tribe runs SO deep."

Violet Starkey

Santa Cruz, California