By Mary Joy Leaper
“A number of years have passed since I last participated in a Summer Festival. This year I was able to be there once more. I thought that I knew what to expect, but to my surprise I was wrong. It is like opening your jewelry box, thinking that you know what is in there, what jewels and precious stones you have. This year’s festival worked as a magical cleaner. How new and exciting, how bright and sparkling are the real jewels in my box.” (J.V.D.B.)
In recent years, participants at the Summer Festivals have felt a growing sense of fellowship and purpose and the true power of being gathered together. This year’s festival, held at The Briars on Lake Simcoe in Ontario, was no exception!
The week’s first workshop, developed by Bob McAlpine, Katrine Geneau, and Glen Sawich, was based on the theme of “Questions and Answers.” It began with a video of “The Code of Your Unreality,” a Spontaneous Unfoldment™ in which Dr. Mills responds to a series of exemplary questions around such ideas as the projection of the objective, and the agreements made in coming to this plane. Then Bob asked workshop members to relate their own realizations resulting from their encounters with Dr. Mills.
“This class was one of the most powerful and intimate sharings that I have ever witnessed. Participants put forward their lifetime attainment as a result of meeting Dr. Mills. What a testimonial to his greatness! Well over 2/3 of those assembled spoke, with eloquence and deep sincerity. This set an extraordinary tone for the entire Summer Festival.” (R.M.)
The next day Lee Bowser and Jennifer Murphy reintroduced Dr. Mills’s memoirs, The Candy Maker’s Son. Their enthusiastic love of the whole volume was obvious. Lee and Jennifer stressed that the memoirs not only comprise a collection of stories but also form an Unfoldment on a grand scale.
“The 2018 Festival of Light, Sound, and Peace: Where would I be without this annual renewal and re-connection with those I love in the timeless environment of Unfoldment?! The classes provided a fine array of Dr. Mills’s offerings. Special thanks to Lee Bowser and Jennifer Murphy for re-introducing us to that magnificent tome, The Candy Maker’s Son. What a surprise to re-acquaint myself with the many treasures it bears!” (G.M.)
Mid-week brought a collage of events. The Kenneth G. Mills Foundation Board of Directors announced several new initiatives and encouraged further ideas. An afternoon poetry event included three finalists from the Kenneth G. Mills Poetry and Singer-Songwriter awards in Toronto, who offered their prize-winning poems. Their recitations were interspersed with performances of Dr. Mills’s spontaneous poems by several Earth-Stage Actors.
“The variety of events was exciting and unique and provided many enlightening and joyful experiences. The first day is always a wonderful surprise because one never knows who will be present, known and new friends. Another exciting event was to observe and revel in the tremendous talents presented by young folks at the afternoon poetry event. It’s amazing how a week can appear timeless. The Summer Festival has always been a highlight of the year for me.” (S.D.)
That evening Ellen Mann presented her newly created video, “What Is Soul?” This potent and beautiful work included clips of Dr. Mills describing his discovery of the meaning of Soul, and spontaneously giving the poem “Feeling the Being” in response to comments by Christopher Dedrick. Ellen’s video also highlighted The Star-Scape Singers’ concert performances of “Feeling the Being” and “Prophet Bird.”
“I’ve always found the Summer Festivals to offer rewarding inspiration. How can one not be inspired when the air radiates with ideals that coincide with the Highest Truths about Man’s innate at-onement with God-Being? This year we were treated to a special video examination of how Dr. Mills came to define for himself the meaning of Soul (including a powerful recording of the Star-Scape Singers performing ‘Feeling the Being,’ a song based on this definition). Beautiful Unfoldments were discussed and spoken about in regard to their practicality in our lives. We were blessed to be there!” (P.S.)
Thursday’s presenters, Susan Kaplan and Mary Joy Leaper, offered a recording of a Spontaneous Unfoldment™ that Dr. Mills described as “one of the most subtle.” Its unusual and multi-layered theme was a history of the evolution of intelligence; the Unfoldment ended with a captivating poem about the magic carpet of the mind and “the life that is new.” There were no interpretations, no conclusions, no prescriptions – just wonder, sharing and newness.
The last day of the Festival brought an all-too-brief summing up, and a barbecue on the lawn. The 2018 Summer Festival had ended with new realizations, greater appreciation of one another and of Dr. Mills, and deeply felt gratitude for his legacy to us. The irradiance of Love, appearing as Kenneth Mills and as each of us, is ever present.
Photographs by Glen Sawich