So, we are away for the weekend – at a small Air BNB with a couple of Mike’s friends I’ve never met.
It’s been more than a year since my last vacation.
And I’d forgotten what life could be like.
We are in a small Virginia town at a small Mountain Music festival called The Rockbridge Mountain Music & Dance Festival. This is the festival’s 30th year, and my first.
What an amazing experience! Last night we arrived to our tiny little house – a former hay barn or perhaps a dairy-milking outbuilding converted into a charming two-bedroom apartment.
Mike’s friends are awesome, interesting, super-kind people – the kind of people who make you feel immediately welcome — like you’ve known them forever. Mike, of course, has. I’m the one who is new to the party. But none of that has mattered, they slipped me right in as if I’d been here with them the whole time.
Last night we went to the opening night of the festival – an evening of uniquely American music with wonderful old-fashioned square dancing.
The dance floor was under a big tent peppered with fairy lights and filled with laughing friendly people – old people, young people, families, dancing children.
If you wanted a souvenir T-shirt they were off to the side.
Sold unattended on the honor code.
Before the dancing we had supper under an even bigger amphitheater – Greek salads, mac n cheese, and chicken burritos catered by the very capable Mountain Mama.
We drank root beer sweetened with real cane sugar and laughed about stuff I don’t even recall and then moseyed down the hill for the music.
I’m less than 24-hours into my 48-hour vacation and you would think I left the world behind days and days ago.
I didn’t realize how hungry I was for just a simple, American, homespun experience. It’s been a weird week for me, and I guess I am more tired than I had thought.
It’s also not lost on me that I get to have this weekend because of my freedoms which are particularly important to remember this weekend of all weekends.
Fifteen years later, we are not defeated. I remember. I live my life in celebration and memory and honor of those who gave theirs. And I work to give meaning to their sacrifice.
photo: Facebook page, Rockbridge Mountain Music & Dance Festival