Just Add Water. Glastonbury Memories

When it storms at Glastonbury, deep in the English countryside, as it is want to do, in midsummer, everything just stops.

Once the rain comes rolling in over the hills and down into the valley at dawn, all you can do is stay in your tent where it’s dry and warm and safe and just wait it out . The relentless barrage on the roof drowns out and swallows up every sound and masks every movement.

Though we are living in wall to wall tents, you can’t hear a thing going on outside of your own four canvas or nylon ones.

You might as well have set yours up inside of a bowl of bubbling rice pudding.

The water seems to come at you from every direction, hammering from above, ricochet off the sides, running down underneath of you , it’s all you can see, hear or smell, fresh and natural, cool and earthy and sweet. It covers and clings to every field and hill, every display, every garden, every tent, every stage, every vehicle, surrounding and smothering, enclosing and enveloping, and bringing with it an un-welcome and unwanted , but much-needed, unforeseen hush all around,

For just a few hours, the chaos is  forced to take a cold shower and take a slow, deep breath, and becomes stillness, and you have no choice but to join in, share and listen. 275,000 people somewhere out there, in the fields all around you, and you would never know it; you might as well be alone in the middle of an empty churning sea on a rubber lifeboat. For all you could tell, they have all packed up and gone home without telling you.

 Time to stay buried deep in the cradle of your patchwork blanket and down sleeping bag and whisper secrets, and tell stories in the filtered half-light and by the amber glow of the lantern. It usually stops by noon, as if a switch were  flicked, just as it started and then the sun shows itself once again, relaxed and refreshed, after enjoying its nice lazy lay in, almost as much as we did.And then chaos begins to struggle free and break loose from the strain of containment, shakes itself off, and reigns once again, rejoicing. You could almost forget the storm (and the calm) ever happened.

If not for the many new inches of pristine talcum soft dark mud to dance in, and churn up and mire and wade through, huge liquid chocolate puddles to muck about in and splash on and into and slick sheets of sticky brown ooze to circumnavigate and slip and slide through, that it left behind.


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