I participated in the Lantern Fest last night. I had seen a video a friend had posted and it looked like a fun experience so when I was invited I was excited to go!
Upon arrival we were given our lanterns, some crayons to draw on the lantern with, a lighter, and then it was time to find a spot to place our “camp”.
We arrived about an hour before sunset and there was already a large crowd set up with fire pits scattered about. They give you a s’mores kit and if you don’t have a fire pit to melt your marshmellows at your camp, you simply use one nearby.
The vibe of the crowd was amazing. It is a family-friendly environment and people were chill. I loved the feel of the crowd. The music was ideal; a solo artist playing an acoustic mixed set of his original music and some familiar tunes.
The lanterns were to be decorated with what was important to you. I put my biggest regret, a few personal thoughts, and my hope for my days to come. Then the time came to let it go – symbolic.
There is no actual description that I can give that would allow anyone to understand the magnitude of seeing thousands of lanterns floating up in the dark sky, mingling with the stars like fireflies. It was breathtaking and my tears began as I watched my lantern float up among the other lanterns. You could feel the emotion in the air. We all felt it. This was when I realized that as a whole, people are good. This is real life. It’s not the nastiness that the media feeds us, it’s this – this beautiful moment with thousands of other people, that was real.
Given another opportunity, I will do this over and over again. It was cathartic….healing.
Back when the majority of my favorite songs were written and recorded the purpose was expressing art, the poets and the musicians telling their stories. Fame and fortune were a bi-product of their mission; but for most, it wasn’t the initial goal.
In today’s world, it seems to be the opposite. To be famous, revered by ones peers, wealth and the power that brings, takes the forefront.
Fortunately, there still are the poets, the beautiful dreamers with words that touch the soul, sharing their gifts with us and I delight when I find them.
I don’t actually know this bands story but I was moved the first time I heard this song. Poetry mixed with a lovely melody.
Acceptance of this can be difficult.
Beautiful, haunting version of Fleetwood Mac’s The Chain. Stevie doing what Stevie does.
I heard this version of this song on the Acoustic Storm this morning. Touching, beautifully written song. “We belong, we belong, we belong together, yeah….”
Notes. Lists. Calendar reminders. My life would be chaotic without the ability to write down what I need to remember.
There was a time when I could run to the store, pick up all that I need and rarely forget an item. Not anymore. If I don’t write it down, good chance I will forget something I need. Even the trusty, “I need 4 items”, doesn’t work. The problem with a specific number of items is you actually have to remember each of them. Ugh!
The body has a cruel way of reminding us that we are getting older. First the vision began to struggle. Then there was the weight gain. And now the memory.
Most people don’t realize when they’re younger the beauty of youth. The body cooperates nicely. You can stay up all night and not need a couple of days to recuperate. Sleeping past 5 am is effortless.
There is little control over what time does to us. But there is something I can do and that is to stay “young at heart”. I am not at all interested in becoming the old lady who sits around doing nothing but waiting to die. I will take the time to breathe in life, love on my family, take trips, and, of course, there is my beloved music! I will enjoy this phase of life as best I can with the aid of my calendar reminders and my numerous lists.
A coworker and I were discussing the cute little butterflies (elephants, Mel!) that I bought to put in my plants, particularly the plant in my office that has no color other than green leaves. She joked about how this was the shortest part of the butterfly’s life, the end, and how beautiful they were, but it is fleeting. I quickly thought how that was like a metaphor for the stage of life I’m in. Although, nowhere like the beauty of the butterfly, the transition to being comfortable in your skin, liking who you are, tends to come as you move into the senior years, and it is lovely. These years are shorter than the rest of one’s life, but there is a cool thing that happens (which would really be great if we could have experienced it earlier….would have saved me some BIG mistakes, but life typically doesn’t work that way) where you recognize that it’s ok to like what you like, disagree with what you don’t believe, wear what you want to wear, love who you genuinely love….be, YOU.
At my age, I’ve finally come into my own. Oddly enough, it is similar to the person I was in my 20’s, the one who didn’t realize she was supposed to conform, and it’s very satisfying. I spent many years complying with that which others thought I should be. Like that girl in her 20’s, I don’t do that anymore. I am authentic. I shed my cocoon, I’m a butterfly. Well, metaphorically speaking.