One Last Sunrise

 The edge of the Playa with a couple’a Black Rock Rangers

Gather round ya’ll. Burning Man Deep Playa Sunrise Story!

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We stayed out late the night before, it was the most empty we’ve ever seen the Playa. Lights and madness everywhere still but each star was just a bit farther from the last. 

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We found the hidden gems, dancing in bars to 90s music, finding some live electric xylophone show with vegan tacos and then an acoustic sing-a-long tribe serving hot cocoa strangely close to the porta potties. It was a cozy, happy way to spend our last night.

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Even though we got in late, Jerred and I pulled ourselves from our warm bed in our dear Bonnie to get one last deep playa trash fence sunrise which, in case you don’t know, these are EPIC. The Black Rock Desert is the largest unobstructed view in the country which allows you to see a shit load of sky and the most epic sunrises ever. So naturally, I slipped into my sexiest playa attire: Dino onesie, oversized fur coat, and John Lennon spectacles. Yeah… I know. I’m slaying it.

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As we began the trek to deep playa, Jerred swiftly took the lead pedaling light years ahead of me. At this point, we’re both exhausted, sleep deprived, deliriously happy and free, and painfully heart broken from the reality of saying another ‘see you next year’ to our dusty home.

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My legs were DONE, so I pedaled slow, taking my time on this final ride to the fence. Taking in the scenery and beautiful dark purple hues of dusk. 

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I noticed a couple Rangers in a truck ahead of me reroute in order to follow Jerred. They’re probably just coincidentally going in the same direction, I thought. But they kept with him… I began to wonder if we had done something wrong? Why are these Rangers still following Jerred? It wasn’t until they had him cornered at the trash fence that they stopped. My curiosity grew and I pedaled my sleepy hooves a bit faster.

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To our delight these two sweet Black Rock Rangers followed him to offer hot cocoa, coffee and tea, along with an array of candy and snacks! We were hugging and thanking them and oh so grateful. These magical random acts of kindness occur all over playa at all times of night and day and they never. Get. Old. We were so humbled and happy to share the sunrise with these sweet old men.

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As I hugged and thanked them, I noticed this fellow on the right was mute. He made a couple sounds and was sweet as sugar, but couldn’t say a single word. Imagine, not being able to utter one single word. Spoken word is the most commonly used form of communication and expression. In fact, it’s the only form many people know.

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Not this guy.

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His heart is as open as the Black Rock sky and if you listen, you can hear his heart beat louder and stronger than the bass of a sunrise set. 

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He speaks a thousand words in one gesture. Floods of love and humble wisdom downpour from his eyes. His silence still communicated beyond the capacity of spoken language. I could see in his face how much he loved me, humanity, and Black Rock City. I could see in his eyes how much he’d done for this place and how much he loves it. I could feel how badly he wanted to connect with others and share in the way we all communicate and express ourselves. I gave him so many hugs and smiles and loving eye contact. I wanted him to feel seen, heard, appreciated and loved. Not just because he deserves the shit out of it, but because I speak the shit out of his language; quiet cosmic connection.

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I know what it’s like to silently scream to the world that you love them unconditionally and wonder if anyone can hear you. I know what it’s like to communicate without words and express without motion and let your emotions and your heart radiate from your being into the infinite cosmos. I know what it’s like to express your soul without a sound and to hope that the world will someday feel and receive this unconditional love, to see themselves as unconditional love. I know this desire to share my heart and to feel as though there’s no way to communicate the depths of it’s love. I know what it’s like to see the light in others and to try to be that mirror and wonder if they’ll ever see it themselves. 

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But I also know what it’s like to silently look at someone in moment of stillness, and feel the eternal NOW that surrounds you and KNOW that this person sees you. Not just your physical image but sees YOU. The depths of your infinite, blinding, luminous soul. I know what it’s like to have a complete stranger stare deep into your eyes and in an instant know more about your overflowing heart than you do yourself. I know what it’s like to be seen and heard and felt. That powerful NAMASTE moment. I honor the place within you where the entire YOUniverse resides, and I honor that place within myself. When you’re in that place, and I’m in that place, we are one.

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All I know is that his heart is as open as the Black Rock sky and if you listen, you can hear his heart beat louder and stronger than the bass of a sunrise set. 

jerred locke