My first trip to Burning Man, I rode up with a friend who was kind enough to haul all my crap in a trailer behind his truck.
Sixteen bins worth of crap, believe it or not.
We didn’t get the EARLIEST start on the last leg of our trip to the Black Rock Desert.
We left Reno sometime between 11 am and 12 pm, having had to stop at a few stores for some last minute provisions.
Needless to say, I was unprepared to arrive on the playa as late as we arrived.
It was after 9 pm and well past dark.
I had to set up my tent all by myself.
It was then that I realized my work gloves, stakes, tent, tarp, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, my HEADLAMP were all in different bins and I needed to first locate them before I could even begin to set up my tent and (ultimately) go to bed.
I was pathetic.
I managed to find everything and as I was staking my tent to the ground with a sledgehammer and 24” rebar, I suddenly realized that I was going to cry.
There I was, mere HOURS into my first Burning Man experience, and I was on the verge of tears.
And I’ll never forget this, so long as I live, but Tejas got up and helped me pound in my last few stakes.
Maybe he knew I’d hit a wall.
Maybe he saw defeat in my eyes.
But that gesture of kindness on his part made all the difference to me.
I was suddenly rejuvenated and found the energy to change my clothes and head out to the local bar for drinks.
There’s a saying in Burning Man:
THE PLAYA PROVIDES.
I’m not sure I can attribute my salvation that night to the playa.
Maybe it was just the kind gesture of a good friend.
But I’ll tell you this. . . at the time it was the most generous, thoughtful, random act of kindness anther person could bestow on me.
Just one of many I received during my first burn.