Everyone is home by now from the Father’s Day festival. They’ve hosed the dust off their vehicles, stowed their tents and lawn chairs, and now just let the memories of the event nestle into the big mental filing cabinet where bluegrass memories live. Time for a big contented sigh.
The Father’s Day festival is an island of respite from the pressures of life, and we gladly embrace it. Once that wristband goes on, life’s troubles are pushed to the side, right?
Not always. This year, a friend of mine suffered a terrible personal tragedy during the festival. For this person, the island fortress was cruelly penetrated by the worst that life can dial up.
The festival went on, of course, as it should have.
Last year, when my mother was nearing the end of her race on earth, I remember being struck by the contrast of my personal anguish and the panorama of normal life that surrounded me. There I was, driving to the hospital, to possibly say the last words I’ll ever say to my mother, and around me, people laughed over silly things, and some cursed at red signal lights that impeded their impatient progress through traffic.
Where was their perspective? Don’t they realize what’s important? How can they be so….normal?
What I realized is, it’a ALL important. The Father’s Day festival, and other pursuits of pursuits of personal moments of joy, may suddenly seem small in the face of significant tragedy and turmoil, but in fact, those pursuits loom ever larger when we are forced to confront the unspeakable.
Give us something something wonderful to cling to, give us moments of joy, and let us lap them up greedily. Let us take a moment to express sorrow and sympathy for anyone who is suffering, but balance that with the pursuit of music, and companionship and community. There’s your perspective.