I have known Grateful for over a decade now. She has undergone a radical transformation since we first crossed paths. It has been a great honor to stand by her as a friend and sister and witness her rebirth. Age and motherhood are two of our greatest teachers. It is unpredictably inimaginable to know how much motherhood will change you. There is a famous quote, by Osho Rajneesh, “The moment a child is born, the mother is also born. She never existed before. The woman existed, but the mother, never. A mother is something absolutely new.” This rings true for me, and I am sure it speaks to many of you as well. Her son, Freedom has been the benefactor of this change as he his mama has become a highly evolved conscious human being. In turn, he receives a joyful and peaceful mama. It was amazing, getting to capture their connection.

Part of Grateful’s transformation includes her involvement with The Rainbow Family of Living Light, an all-inclusive, magical community of people that live for peace and love. They practice a non-violent and earth honoring lifestyle while gathering each year in a predetermined forest location to pray for things like the positive evolution of humankind, world peace, and earth conservation. Traditions and rituals at gatherings include things like drum circles, acoustic music, sister circles, prayer, meditation, healing work, and Family discussing personal growth and a vision for the future. Grateful goes every Sunday to Balboa Park in San Diego where local Rainbow Family has gathered for over 20 years. In her time here, she joins community to experience the rhythms created by drumming. No songs are planned, but they group intuitively creates beautiful rhythmic music that elevates the soul. There is also a time for a Circle that everyone uses the cleansing vibration of Ohm to renew their spirits. It is wonderful to witness.

I am too am grateful to have experienced The Rainbow Family, and I was honored to be a part of this sacred space with Grateful and her sweet young Freedom. In Her own words, Grateful shares with us her thoughts…

Nearly one year ago, Freedom and I attended our first Rainbow Gathering; the Black Sheep Solstice Gathering in Southern California. Gathering with hundreds of people, all with the intention of peace, healing, and unity, was profoundly moving for me. I was so touched by my experiences at the Black Sheep Gathering, that my (then) 9 month old son and I hit the Rainbow Road and began traveling together. As a single mom, I felt called to raise my son in tribe, to raise him in community, because, when I am with my Rainbow Tribe, I am no longer a single mother. Over the last year, Baby Freedom and I have attended 7 Rainbow Gatherings, and have visited 10 different states along our travels. This past year has been immensely joyful and transformational for me. The ability to give and receive love and healing so freely in community, the opportunity to reside in the peaceful woods away from the chaos of the city, and the chance to connect so deeply with other Beings of Light, has helped me grow in more ways that I cannot articulate in words. I do know that this is how I want to raise my son… free of materialistic distractions, free from the pressures of the educational system, free from the pursuit of that which is financially profitable, free from the stress and anxiety of fitting into social and gender norms. I want to raise my son amongst nature, while teaching him how to steward land, how to live sustainably, and how to grow his own food….I want to raise my son in freedom. Gathering with the Rainbows allows us that opportunity. I AM Rainbow.