As I write, Over the Rhine’s new album Meet Me at the Edge of the World
is playing, and I find myself dreaming of the day when they might play in my backyard.
Almost nothing makes me feel as at peace, as invigorated, and as solidly myself as sitting in a room and letting music wash over me. I grew to love live music because I was steeped in it as a child. Twice a week at least I sat and heard a choir sing or sang in one myself. I watched Mom prepare soloists for Sunday morning performances. I heard her give piano lessons most week days. I played piano myself.
Then, my brother started playing trombone, and we toured with his drum and bugle corps. Something about all that brass just makes my soul swing high.
In college, I started going to Coffeehouse on Sunday nights, listening to my classmates share their talents. It was there that I fell in love with the strum of a guitar, and there, I first heard John Francis play. In three weeks, he will gift us with his voice and guitar at our wedding.
So when I listen to great music – and Over the Rhine is GREAT MUSIC – I can’t help by picture our barn, the space wide and full of light. All wood with high beams. I see old friends and new sitting around long tables, passing along our macaroni and cheese and bean salad. I watch people get to talk to musicians they admire, and I sigh deep.
Then, I see us all settle into chairs – legs propped up before us or tucked under. Children sprawl on the floor with blankets. Meander sits beside my feet. And the music wraps us all close, sending colors through all the windows and out to the mountains.
When dreams are this real, it’s as if I’m just displaced into now, as if the dream is already life. And it will be.
I hope when that time comes, you’ll be here with a pot of baked beans or a chocolate cake to share and your smile ready to light.