Out of the River
Hi. Remember me? Last you knew, I was going to spend a weekend sitting on a rock in the middle of a river listening to music with my good friends Mr. Clowncar, Lil Hux and their adorable daughters, otherwise known as “the fiancées” collectively.*
I did sit on that rock in the middle of the river and listen to music. I also witnessed the miracle of Declan actually playing in the river. This is the boy who is allergic to all things aquatic. This is the boy who loudly accuses us of infanticide every time we put him in the bathtub. And yes, it takes two of us to keep him in there.
I wouldn't have been more astounded if he'd walked across the river. Actually, I would have been less astounded, since walking on water wouldn't actually bring him into contact with it.
It's a Rockyfestivus miracle!
Here is our camping site:
We were treated to the loveliest thunderstorms the first night. The lightning flickered behind clouds over the mountains. The thunder followed and the ground rumbled under us. Rain poured down, obscuring the sound of the river only a few yards away.
We stayed nice and dry, except for the occasional 'plimp' of a stray drop somehow penetrating the nylon and falling on my face. It was just enough to keep me awake with my thoughts, which spun out a web of anxiety about what I forgot to pack, what I did pack that we didn't need, the boyos upcoming evaluations, their immunizations, my own college financial aid snafu, buying textbooks, whether I'm doing the right thing going back to school, the fate of the bookstore and the fate of all used booksellers and their sometimes unfortunate wives, global warming, anxiety over what little bit O has told me about Cormac McCarthy's The Road, and that scary void I need to leap over every night to get from safely awake to asleep and safely dreaming.
And even then I woke up at one point enraged at an HR director I haven't seen in nine years. What the hell is wrong with me?
My two favorite moments from the festival:
There is a tightness in my chest that I'm unaware of until it loosens. My heart beats faster with anticipation at seeing the old silo on the grounds, it leaps, and settles into a slower, surer rhythm. We're here, we're here, we're here. Safe in this place where every purpose is the same, is sincere. The river is this way, the music is that way, over here there is good food, over there the trees and tents and let the wings relax a bit. Here are friends. Here is home.
The second day. We aren't in our usual spot, but in a better one sheltered from rain and sun under the trees and within sight of the St. Vrain river. A perfect spot, a place I want to sink roots into and never leave. A man walks by under the trees, a man in dress pants, button-down shirt, a tie. He's carrying a cello. He walks slowly, even more slowly in my memory. His chestnut hair brushes his shoulders. A woman follows him, beautiful in a cornflower-colored dress, carrying a violin. They are joined by two other performers in a circle of grass under these trees by the river. And then they play. Cellos belong outdoors with dappled light playing them as they play. I can't quite get across how beautiful these players were, all dressed up under the trees.
*at least until we figure out which daughter of theirs is marrying which son of ours, and then another arrangement must be made with DMG...