Well, hello there! It’s really wonderful to be able to welcome you back to our favorite cow pasture, in person, together at last. We gather here to enjoy the good company of our friends and neighbors, to celebrate that we made it through a very tough chapter of our lives, and to celebrate our 10th year anniversary of enjoying live music together. We have much to be thankful for.
A friend recently posed this question: “How are you making time for things that matter?” I was on a Smith River trip thinking about this and had lots of time to gaze up at the canyon walls to contemplate the things that truly matter. Family, rivers, community, my dog, leaving this world a little better than we found it, and of course, music.
How can we describe the value of music in our lives? What is it about songs that can help us heal? Music allows us to access the emotional side of ourselves that we don’t often make time to let in. It lets us feel deeply and perhaps most importantly, reminds us that we are not alone. Hearing about someone else’s experiences of hardship or joy invites us to reflect on our relationship both with ourselves and with others. It invites us to think about our place and purpose in this world.
I posed this same question to several friends: “What is the value of music?” One particularly insightful 10-year-old named Willa summed it up well, “Music makes everything better. Like when I fight with my brother, all we have to do is put on our favorite song, and bam…we love each other again.”
Music reminds us to be joyful, to dance! It says things we don’t know how to put into words. It steadies our souls. Music is the story that captures what it means to be alive.
So here we are, gathered together to hear the songs that move us. As day slips into dusk, and the big Montana sky envelops our collective experience with grace and so much beauty, please take a moment to look around at these smiling faces. Let’s embrace this, and each other. Let’s lead with all the love we can possibly muster. Let’s take care of one another the best we know how. For it is this, our collective human experience, that truly matters.
With so much love and gratitude,