The Playa Will Provide – A Burning Man Lesson

Burning Man Survival Guide 2014 with fire balls and tickets

Getting ready for Burning Man one phrase I heard over and over was “the playa will provide.”  

It’s a term that loosely covers meanings such as ‘surrender,’ ‘let go,’ ‘if you want it enough it will show up,’ and ‘you may not get what you want, but you get what you need’ (does the refrain from the Rolling Stones song start in your head now?).  I had recently learned this ‘letting go’ concept (having been one who unknowingly and fruitlessly tried controlling things beyond my control for years) and was excited to be open to the magic of the playa providing.

I could tell (and maybe sometime in the future, I will tell) stories of things mysteriously showing up for me out there.  But my being open to the Universe supplying isn’t unusual (for me).   Seeing others receive, especially when it was obvious the Universe gifted to the unexpecting, was truly a memory.

My “Playa Will Provide” Story

One morning I woke up early – 6:30am.  At Burning Man this early hour is still a time when you hear the dance music thumping away in the distance or being played loudly from passing art cars, aka Mutant Vehicles.  I made a cup of tea, put on my warm, faux zebra fur coat, and went to sit out on my camp’s ‘front porch’ –  which was a catwalk where participants show off their newly gifted costumes. The camp, Kostume Kult, was centrally located on the main thoroughfare called Esplanade.  There were no camps in front of us.  Just the wide open desert filled with art installations, bike riders, people, art cars and playa dust.

Sipping my tea, there was one person who caught my eye.  Her skin was a beautiful golden brown tone.  She didn’t have much on under her sweater, so I’m sure she attracted many with her lithe physique.  She had on a neon green wig- which to my eye looked amazingly well kept despite the desert and long night – I presumed – she must have had.  This early-for-her morning wanderer was struggling with two bikes.  

Playa Will Provide illustrated by Woman with green hair pushing 2 bikes on playa at Burning Man 2014

Miracle of the playa, girl pushing bikes at Burning Man 2014


The green wigged woman was trying to ride one bike, and bring the other one back for whomever had left it behind.  She struggled for quite some time.  The bikes fell over.  She walked around.  Did that awkward and funny half ride/half walk on the bike while trying to push or tug the other one.  Exasperated,  she just stood over her bike, the other one ungracefully dangling next to her.  She gazed across the expanse of the playa.  Her body language told me how far she was from her camp.  Her shoulders slumped heavily as she surrendered to her journey ahead.

Then – out of no-where- rode in this young man in a bright t-shirt, full of energy.  He zipped up to her, and you could see he was asking if she needed help.  She motioned her issues.  I could hear him direct her to move the extra bike this way, and he grabbed it by the cross bar at the handles.  I heard him say, just hold it here and ride.  She was expecting to do so, when he said where’s your camp and proceeded to ride, holding her extra bike, in that direction.   

For that magic, disbelieving moment, she remained motionless. Unable to process the gift.  And then she smiled – and I wondered if she had the thought “the playa will provide”?  Quickly she scrambled, caught up to the young man and they rode off into the playa.

Playa Will Provide illustrated by woman with green hair and man in orange shirt riding bikes at Burning Man 2014

Catching up to the gift of help. The Magic of the Playa providing. Burning Man 2014

My morning was filled with the warmth of having witnessed the magic of the ‘playa providing’ in unexpected ways, yet exactly the right way.  In witnessing that moment, the playa had provided me too… the gift of seeing someone letting go, wishing for a better way, and being gifted with her wish.

What’s Your “Playa Will Provide” Story?

Have you ever had a manifesting experience similar to this?  Either letting go of the outcome, surrendering to the present, or desiring something better without needing to know the how?  Playa will provide can happen anywhere – share your story!



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  1. Wayne

    I love what you wrote. You like the term The playa will provide, I use, use universe will provide. Glad to see you made it out the other side. The art work on the web site is awesome. It must have been a great experience.


      The Playa Will Provide is a term common to people who go to Burning Man. It suits many individuals and their diverse and heartfelt beliefs and disbeliefs


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