In the end, I think of it as a realignment, a realignment of both body and mind.
We arrived at the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival in Oak Hills, NY late in the afternoon on Thursday. It was a hot day, about 90 degrees and humid. There were already thousands of campers on the grounds; a tent city was erected on Walsh Farm.
Walsh Farm is hay fields, all mowed down to make way for the festival. The farm is essentially two large meadows, wrapped by a wooded creek.
The lower, larger field was cleared for the tents. A series of narrow lanes were dividing the land in to smaller plots, and from there it was up to each party to stake a claim. Opposite the woods lining the creek bed, and at the base of the hill leading to the upper meadow, there were concession stands and large tents erected to stage different activities and performances throughout the festival – the masters stage, family stage, and grassroots.
The upper meadow was cleared, and built over with more concession tents and the main stage. The field had a natural incline, the banks of the hill were covered with chairs and blankets looking down on the stage.
After staking our claim, we had dinner. We went up to the main stage to hear some music. We didn’t stay long, and headed back down to put the kids to bed. Once they were down, a couple of us headed back out to the stage for some music under the stars.
The view from the upper meadow was incredible. We could see the skies for miles around. We moved our way close to the stage, opened a few beers, lite a joint, and settled into watch music. High over the stage, in the distance, there was a thunder storm. We could see flashes of light and streaks of color highlighting the clouds well beyond the stage.
My body felt awkward, sitting in a chair with my knees well above my bottom. My body was strained and my mind swimming, engulfed in the music, atmosphere, storms, and the pot. I recognized I my daily patterns had been usurped, and this weekend was about experiencing something new.
We spent the next few days listening to music, with crude dining over a camping stove, and lounging by the creek, swimming to avoid the heat and humidity.
In the end, we came full circle. Our last night there was filled with dramatic storms. Laying in our tent, we were surrounded by incredible lightening and rain. So much lightening that it was like a fireworks display. I was reminded of that first night; these storms the last night seemed the perfect punctuation to the weekend, like the transformation was made complete.