Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community Draws Closer Together in Drumming Circle

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Community Draws Closer Together in Drumming Circle

Article excerpt

Byline: Susan Stanton, Shorelines columnist

I don't have a drum. So, to get into the spirit of things, I took my mask, my bell and my wand-like thingy down to the beach at the end of my street the night of July 27 to participate in a bonfire and drumming circle.

The event was a rescheduling of the outdoor elements of the previous month's summer solstice celebration, which had been cancelled because of rain.

Storms threatened this event, too, but the rain stayed away and the weather enhanced the occasion, offering dramatic skyscapes filled with impressive clouds that dissipated as the evening progressed to reveal a moonless, star-filled sky.

The bonfire was indeed impressive, with many drummers standing in a circle pounding out rhythms as others danced about. But it was a scaled-down version of the original solstice celebration. The flame for the bonfire was to be delivered from the ocean in a two-person kayak flanked by members of the Sisters of the Sea surfing group holding candles while perched on their boards.

Wow, what a spectacle that would have been! I hope that or something similar will be incorporated into the fall solstice celebration, which I understand is being planned.

Drummers came from as far away as St. Augustine to participate. One man brought his collection of tribal instruments, which included a dirigidoo. I was fascinated by the Australian wind instrument, which he gladly demonstrated for me, and we talked at length. He asked if I was interested in drumming and, when I said yes, he hooked up a drum around my waist and I joined the drumming circle, knowing almost nothing about drumming but having fun just the same.

Honestly, it was mesmerizing, keeping the beat, staring into the fire and watching people as they danced. I can see why drumming is so popular. …

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