The scene is set as the desert dust fills our noses and the heavenly stars tempt our eyes, as we drive deeper and deeper into the Mohave desert. We've been driving for hours, had one car breakdown, and are radioing back and forth in our two cars filled with eager ravers. Our nerves are about to snap as we are running low on cigarettes and adrenaline. Already having pulled over to check the directions or cool down or wonder if we should continue, we are trying to find the desert party as hard as we can, in every way we know how. It's nearing 2 a.m. (we left at 10 o'clock), and just as we are about to give up and pull over by the side of the road, letting our techno blast, so we can just start dancing right there on the pavement; we finally find some cars driving on an adjoining road into the heart of the desert. We decide this is it and follow the cars, thrilled that we are nearing the end of our raver journey. And sure enough, we reach the makeshift parking lot in the sand, and park right next to the natural dance floor. We made it.

We get out and start exploring. The music hasn't started yet. Everyone is either setting up their temporary homes (tents, blankets…) for the night, or walking around talking and meeting people. We do the same for half an hour or so until the music starts around 3:30 a.m. Everyone suddenly collects and holds hands, as we start running in a huge circle. The moon is rising over the mountainside. People are howling and singing. The stars are intensely glowing. The spirit of the night is beginning to take hold as we start surrendering to the moon, the earth, and the music. The spirit connects us to each other, as we share this bond-we all know why we are here. We were driven by the powerful forces of light and dark. We have come to bask in the music, move our bodies, worship the moon and welcome the sun. Still circling, we start running wilder until we can no longer control our energy. We break off and start dancing with a deep passion, natural manifestation, and lunar motion. We dance.

The rest of the night is spent with the same craze and mystery which began to grow as the first bass beat resonated the deep desert sand and our deepening hearts. The moon is now making its journey across the sky, over our waving hands and pounding feet on the dance floor. Each person is creating their own rhythm as they dance. With this, they also create their own meaning and purpose for the night, their individual story. Each one is unique, filled with different experiences. The darkness is now fading away as the color of the sky is getting lighter. The night is beginning to turn into day. But still, we dance on.

The sun finally starts its triumphant rising over the desert valleys and mountains. Each place in the desert has its own view to the event. Whether you are sitting on a mountain watching the sun pour into the slithering curves of the water-paved paths below you, creating huge shadows which outline the mountain’s slopes and peaks; or standing in a valley watching the sky grow brighter in contrast with the mountain line becoming darker, and the newly-formed shadows beginning to reach you; the site is absolutely beautiful. The clouds start filling the sky with white patterns that look like a stroke from a cosmic paintbrush, while the sky is turning different shades of red and orange and yellow and blue. The light now surrounds you; the sun filling you with vitality and rebirth. The new day has come, and we celebrate it with more dancing.

The day is becoming hotter and hotter as the desert sun shows no mercy. We sweat under it as it sends its burning rays down to us. But even with the heat, we show our willingness and strength in our raving mission-we came here to dance, and we are striving to continue to dance.

Finally, as day turns into night yet again, we decide we have completed our mission, for now. We have exerted all of our energy and power and love in the desert, and now it is time to go home, be thankful, and recuperate. We say our good-byes, get in our cars, and head back into the city to the rest of our lives. We look back at the mountains growing smaller and smaller as we drive away, and wish we could stay forever. But we turn back to the road and remember, the desert is our special place; raving is our wonderful indulgence, and we must keep it for another day. We put the amazing party we just came from in the storage of our memory, to feel the experience there again. We smile. And in our hearts, we are dancing forever on.

by ZuZu for Rave On Magazine