Trees are pretty magnificent, aren’t they? They provide shade, fruit, wood, along with leaves and sewer-destroying roots.
If you have a tree living near you, you are familiar with the trees’ yearly cycle. In the spring, they’re busy, producing smaller branches, little buds which become leaves and/or fruit. In the summer, they’re seemingly inert, but the leave provide shade in the hot sun. In reality, they’re busy soaking up energy through the magic of photosynthesis.
In the fall, trees start preparing for winter. They shed their little chlorophyll engines (leaves) and their very sap retreats from the branches into the deepest recesses of the trunk and roots, in preparation for the depredations of winter,
Once the winters over, with the arrival of spring, the cycle starts anew. Now, where have we seen this before? I’ll tell you – we’re all doing it!
In the spring, we’re pulling the instruments out and hosing out the ice chests in preparation for the first bluegrass event of the season: The Sonoma County Bluegrass and Folk Festival. New instruments, hairstyles and beards are shown off and the bluegrass season is officially launched. (The preceding is the metaphor for the spring buds and fruits ona tree).
Come summer, we’re in maintenance mode. The instruments, RVs, ice chests and and lawn chairs are red-hot from constant use. Sunshine, camaraderie and bluegrass, our fuel sources are plentiful and we gorge, for we know the darkness will eventually come.
In the fall, we frantically cling to the vestiges of the season, enjoying Kings River, Plymouth and the CBA Campout. But the sap is beginning to retreat.
After we turn the clock back, and the weather cools, the sap is no longer in the branches or leaves. We’re not loading the ice chests and lawn chairs into the RVs.
We’re not dead of course. But now we seek our bluegrass pleasures, by and large, closer to our roots. We find local concerts and attend jam sessions in the toasty warmth of the homey abodes of friends and relatives.
And when the Vernal Equinox signals the awakening from winter, we (and the trees) begin the process all over again. Of course, we have one huge advantage over the trees: We have the Great 48 Jam in Bakersfield!!