It’s always been a dream of mine to witness lanterns kiss the night sky. So over the weekend I had the chance to attend The RiSE Festival with two of my favorite people (Karla and Jaymie) and see just that and then some. I’m going to try my best to put this experience into words, so bare with me.
Dancing into the Desert Sunset
We arrived to Moapa Valley a little after 4PM with nothing but a few tents, torches, and desert in sight. I didn’t really know what to expect, but I was so excited to embark on this journey with my two close friends. After waiting in line for about an hour just to take a photo with the RiSE sign (which was well worth it, btw), we grabbed our mats, lanterns, matches, and markers and set off to find a spot to chill until the festivities began! We were in section H – which was closest to the exit/entrance, so I’m super stoked that we weren’t too far! Then we got our much needed beers, got to enjoy each other’s company, and vibed out to some great tunes while we got tatted and wrote on our lanterns.
Letting Our Feelings Take Flight
It was unreal taking that marker to lantern and just writing out everything I felt in that moment and at the same time channeling my past, and then dreaming up my future goals. I dedicated a lantern to my late friend, Mark Andrew, and I immediately felt the tears roll down my face. I also drew a crappy rendition of his logo that you can see along with part of the legacy he left behind – “Create. Love. Travel. Vibe. Repeat.” He probably never knew how much he’s impacted my life, but he really has and has opened up my mind to endless possibilities, and for that I am forever grateful.
To really be in tune with my feelings, all of the love, and the all-encompassing energy from RiSE was both overwhelming and just unbelievable. The most incredible part was really being a small fraction of this huge gathering. Alongside about 10,000 other people, we let our feelings take flight into the night sky and it was the most beautiful experience and you bet I cried my eyes out!
Honestly, these words and photos do not do RiSE Festival justice. No words can truly describe how it felt to let go of all the bullshit, the things that have been holding me back, and to feel alive in that moment. To see thousands upon thousands of lanterns get set free by people from all walks of life come together in the middle of the desert was just mind blowing. From setting an intention, sharing hopes and dreams, to taking the steps to overcome the internal struggles we battle with – we were all able to let it go and RiSE together.
And you can bet you’ll see me there again next year!