Under an oaken sky

 


“I was hiding in her. You do that sometimes. Sometimes you decide you’ll take refuge in the good, gracious enthusiasm that another person has for you and the love and the nurturing that somebody gives you.” Jackson Browne

Recently,  I had the occasion to sit on the lawn at Ravinia.  If you are not familiar with Ravinia,  it is a  Summer concert venue just outside of Chicago Illinois. Having grown up surrounded by the annual summer concerts held there, when I return I am surrounded by ghosts of concerts past. In my mind I find Pete Seeger walking past my friends and me saying hello to us .I see Janis Joplin arguing with Ravinia staff regarding what they perceived as her inappropriate read to sheer manner of dress. I hear Rufus Wainwright’s rich, dreamy voice singing songs I love. And I hear Jackson Browne singing many of the songs that have become touchstones guiding my life. Sitting under the oaken canopy as the night envelopes the trees and the trees cloak those of us gathered on the lawn, I’m feeling a sense of  peace and abiding joy.

With a full moon to light the night and beautiful music to relax and inspire, I wonder about the trees. Do they feel the vibrational pull of the music. Do their roots grow deep, stirring in summer to soak up what we hear? Does it encourage them to provide shelter, air, and beauty for us? Do they long to hear what we do? When the music stops at the end of the summer, are they left wanting more? Do they wish for an encore? Does  their memory run deep, deeper than my own? Do they wish for a concert or two to return to?

In the comfort of my chair, staring at the softness of the full moon, under the feathery oaken cloak, the world is dreamy and fine. I give thanks for all that is good and gracious, and for a place such as this to find rest.

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