After 50 years of the Order’s existence and 25 years of its distance learning course now is a good time for us to assess what this has brought, to celebrate it – and allow ourselves to critique it too if we wish. And then we can look forward to what the next 50 years might bring – to envision it, dream it, sow seeds of intention. If we look around us – at the tribe, the community of people who are drawn here today – there is such diversity, and yet some common music holds us together, brings us together. Such diversity, and yet such unity! I remember being at an Eisteddfod at Glastonbury a few years ago and we had an opera singer, a Dutch member, singing arias from Bellini and Verdi; we had a duo – Marianne, also from the Netherlands playing the electric double-bass, with Jim Faupel singing and playing guitar; we had Arthur with his Druid camp blues, Damh with his pagan rock anthems, and of course many more. So diverse and yet held together by some mysterious threads of connection – by our unity!
And this was the theme of this year’s Dryade International camp too – the diversity that is held within that wider context that we call Druidry and OBOD.
I don’t know about you, but I sometimes find myself frustrated by this wider context – it often seems to me that OBOD Druidry is so wide a term, so loose both in its structure and its philosophy (if it even has one) that I don’t know what it is! And this is coming from someone who is apparently helping to lead the Order, who has more or less immersed himself in the subject for the last fifty years –