My Burning Man Experience as a Parent
I recently returned from Burning Man, an annual event that never fails to challenge, restore, and inspire me. It’s a place where radical self-expression, art, and community converge in the vast Nevada Black Rock desert. In this blog post, I’d like to share my experience of Burning Man, emphasizing the importance of embracing difficulty and the unexpected joys of being a parent on the Playa.
Before I delve into my Burning Man adventure, let me tell you why this event is so close to my heart. Burning Man is not just a festival; it’s a mindset and a way of life. It’s about intentionally doing hard things and having fun while doing them. It’s about creating a thriving city in the middle of nowhere, facing extreme weather conditions, and thriving in the face of adversity.
In the lead-up to Burning Man, I encountered individuals who, despite the abundance of available tickets, hesitated to attend due to the event’s challenges. They cited the intense weather and harsh conditions as reasons to stay away. However, I firmly believe that if every person on Earth experienced Burning Man, the world would be a better place. It challenges our comfort zones and encourages us to embrace the hard parts of life, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling existence.
Burning Man and climbing share a common thread—the intentional pursuit of difficult challenges. Whether it’s building a city in the desert or scaling treacherous rock faces, both communities thrive on pushing boundaries while having a blast. The spirit of Burners is remarkable; even when faced with unexpected rain, they embrace the challenge and find ways to make it fun.
Burning Man also serves as a rite of passage, an initiation into a unique way of life. It filters out those who aren’t willing to confront the difficulties of getting there, but it attracts individuals with a strong desire to overcome challenges. This mindset is not exclusive to Burners; it’s a universal principle that can be applied to various aspects of life.
Now, let’s talk about the unexpected joy of being a parent on the Playa. I brought my five-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who gave herself the playa name “Blacky,” to Burning Man. I had prepared thoroughly to ensure her safety and survival in the harsh desert environment. Surprisingly, her well-being was a mostly smooth journey, we did many body check-ins as a self-care practice.
What truly amazed me was the overwhelming love and affirmation we received from other parents and the community. As Blacky explored the dance floor and interacted with people, parents held their hearts, thanked me for bringing her, and praised her presence. This sense of parental camaraderie was heartwarming and unexpected.
Being a parent at Burning Man also gave me a new perspective on the event. Blacky became something of a rock star, confidently embracing the center of the dance floor, tickling armpits, and giving authentic positive energy. It was a remarkable experience to watch her shine in this environment.
Blacky’s actions at Burning Man were truly heartwarming. She exhibited kindness and empathy by offering hugs and gifts to people who were grieving at the Temple. Her pure and loving gestures in a place filled with intense emotions left a visible impact on those she encountered.
My journey as a parent on the Playa has been filled with surprises and heartwarming moments. I didn’t expect such family-positive interaction from the Burner community, nor did I anticipate Blacky’s remarkable ability to thrive in this unique environment. It reaffirmed my belief that children are not giving us a hard time; they are having a hard time, and our role as parents is to support and guide them through it.
In conclusion, Burning Man is not just an event; it’s a way of life that encourages us to embrace challenges, have fun, and push our boundaries. It’s a place where unexpected joys and lessons can be found around every corner. As a parent, I’ve witnessed the beauty of this community and the positive impact children can have on it. If you ever have the chance to attend Burning Man, seize it, and let it inspire you to live life to the fullest. I do agree with Burning Man’s opinion that it is better to go first without kids, it is important to know what we are bringing our children into.
And if you’re a parent seeking guidance on raising resilient and empathetic children, I’m here to help. Together, we can create a brighter future for our kids.