Sunday, August 19, 2007

Birthday Beautiful

Birthdays... getting old for many people has come to mean very little. We shuffle by our birthdays forgetting the significance of a life lived in the midst of challenges and of utter beauty.

A birthday should really be a compilation of everything beautiful that makes your soul sing. And this is really the first birthday that has been a celebration of the things that fill my heart. There is almost nothing better than a beautifully planned surprise on your birthday and it rang true for me this year.

I was surprised with tickets to the Lyons Folk Festival. I was super stoked to see my favorite artist, Ray LaMontagne, but I didn't really have any idea what the day had in store. When we arrived, the beauty of this location was outstanding. There was an incredible rocky cliff with meandering cracks and brilliant green ivy creeping towards the sky. A shallow river lay at the base... warm water making it's way over large riverstones. Adults floated by on innertubes and children were busy building cairns with the polished rocks.

We filled our cups with Colorado beer and found a place to enjoy the music. Simplicity... it's underrated. A guitarist and his bass player. Gentle harmonies and lines of music crafted in such a way to pull at my heart. And as I looked around I saw life happening... young families playing in the sand, a grandmother with a friend - maybe a neighbor or a sister, young and carefree couples, and everyone filled their hearts with this music. Simple.

Then a raindrop. And a few more. The rain came quickly pouring a fresh layer of water over us. It's not worth hiding or covering up. So we laid back and we let our skin feel each solitary drop. It ran down our faces and dripped off our noses and as we laughed it trickled over our teeth. We were soaked and loving it. But just as welcome as the rain was the feel of the sunshine. Beautiful heat across my shoulders. And warm arms wrapped all around me.

Later on, the sun set and the music continued. Lights cast gentle light across the cliff and across the branches of the trees behind the stage. I leaned back against the chest of my fellow music adventurist. And he rested his chin on my shoulder. As the rain began again, I felt wonderfully sheltered... not just from the oncoming storm. Thunder rolled across the sky and lightning abolished the darkness for seconds at a time. I wouldn't have picked anywhere else to be.

The river, the storm, the rain, the sun, the music. Beauty, danger, warmth, peace, beer, and the possibility of a beautiful story to come... THAT was a birthday.

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