Nokomis Beach Drum Circle
It was a Saturday night, and we could hear the rhythmic drumming as we hurried down the beach toward the drum circle. By the time we arrived, the circle, which was anchored by maybe thirty drummers pounding a primal beat with their hands, was forming its second ring of onlookers. Having only our beach towels to sit on, we found a spot where two lawn chairs were separated enough that we had a good view.
Several people had told us about the every Wednesday and Saturday sunset event, “You just have to go,” they said. So we did.
The drummers were definitely the beat setters, but that was the end of any observable organization. In the center of the circle was a memorial placed on a mound of sand: a vase of flowers, a conch shell, a framed list of names of past drum circle participants who have passed on, and a few photos. A man visited the memorial, then walked the circumference of the inner circle with lit sage. Another man with dreadlocks and a headdress made from seagrass walked around playing various percussion instruments: gourds, a tin can and a stick, and large shells.
Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Meanwhile there was a constant flow of dancers and hula hoopers and people with scarves and butterfly wings and bubbles. At first, most of the dancers seemed to be regulars who greeted one another with warm, lengthy hugs, paused to talk with the drummers, many dressed like belly dancers or in outfits straight out of my 1975 Tiger Beat magazine, complete with huge peace symbol medallions. It wasn’t long before children came from everywhere to dance or chase bubbles. There was a group of young girls doing cartwheels and a group of toddlers attempting to imitate them.
I was overwhelmed by the spirit of a bunch of free spirits, just being free. I told BF, there’s something spiritual going on here, but I’m not sure what it is. Much of the crowd, many in their bathing suits, donned scarves or wings, played maracas, and joined in while others watched, drinking Chardonnay and enjoying hummus and veggies or Subway sandwiches and chips.
Can Somebody Just Tell Me What’s Going On Here?
It was all-out, wear what you want, let your arms sway like palm branches or stomp out the primal beat, let the spirit move you, spread the love, anything goes, fest. Sit and watch or jump up and join. I really wanted someone to make an explanatory announcement. I wanted to see who was in charge and know the story. What did this all mean? Could I play too? But was “this” definable? A group gathering that needed no organization other than the, in unison, beating of drums. Simply allowing.
I loved it. I got lost in it. Before I knew it, the sun was setting, and I almost missed it.
And then a few nights later, we happened upon the Venice Beach drum circle and our 3-year-old Lily, who tends to be shy around strangers, without provocation, invitation, or explanation, kicked off her shoes and ran to the middle of the circle, moving as free as the wind.
It was beautiful. It was the call of the child. The child that sits within us, just waiting for that spontaneous call.
Now it’s your turn. Hop on down to the comments section below and tell me what it is that you love so much that you could almost miss a gorgeous sunset over it.