Building Hope and Community
Dusk is falling on the longest day of the year. It’s one of those magical midsummernights when the sky lets go of its brilliant colour and clouds and spreads them across the horizon. As we bike home, I pause to take a photo and to soak it in. We cross paths with Amanda and Carly who just noticed the air filled with glowing fireflies. Then I pedal on, humming a tune I just heard.
After the brilliant sun and the heat and the pureness of an Indiana summer day, there comes the late afternoon and evening. Everything slows down a bit. And tonight, we bike over to the Goshen Brewing Company to relax and listen to music. Wood & Wire are in town from Austin, Texas. When we arrive on the patio, there’s still room to sit and join acquaintances, though many have come with their own chairs or blankets and are spread out all over the grassy extension. The band is doing a sound check and getting ready for its two hour gig. The line for drink and food is almost out the door so for now, I get a glass of water. We wave to friends, chat with our table neighbors and settle in for an evening of great bluegrass music.
And where is the magic? Everywhere. The weather is perfect, with just a light breeze. Many people are gathered in peace and harmony. The music and the food and drink bring us all together. For that moment, we are suspended in another world where pain and heartache and judgement are gone. We are clapping and toe tapping and cheering. And the tip jar goes out into the crowd, trustfully.
During the music break, we catch up with friends back from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and others living in Kentucky, and going to Colorado, and hear stories of work and travel. And Jim gets lucky: there’s no one in line for drinks.
Then, it’s back to the music. People are smiling and feeling good.The musicians pass on their energy and passion. As I watch them and the crowd, I feel hope: hope that we can all live on this planet, in our own versions of life; hope that we can respect each other and take care of each other; hope that beyond our crooked ways and sometimes failings, we can still find joy and love; hope that there are still things that bring us together more than tear us apart. Thanks to Goshen Brewing Company for creating community. And may the summer bring on more nights of gathered friends as the fireflies come out.