I was lured on an adventure by some very generous and wonderful people in my life. At first, I refused, saying it was too generous. They "worked" me and I agreed. Not very grateful of me – was it? That is a new practice for me. Hopefully, this blog will express some of my gratitude.
The entire 24-plus hour experience was gift after gift. First, a gathering, then side trip to Jungle Jim's for food. Let the adventure begin. Even ran into Jungle himself while texting my daughter from the first-class airline seats by the checkout. "If you press this button," Jungle said flipping open a panel, "the stewardess will bring you coffee."
Off to a great start.
After stuffing the car with food, we jaunted through the countryside caravanning in two vehicles, stopping to visit very welcoming family, who lived near the cabin for which we were headed.
We arrived at the state park in enough time to cook a feast, then leave again for what was the real purpose of this trip: a special concert by Over the Rhine at their farm. Two of the four of us are die-hard fans. One, familiar with their songs and me, well, a newbie ... just, casually going along for the ride.
When we turned down their lane and I spied the gorgeous early Ohio, brick farmhouse, I knew this would be memorable. A giant, puffy white tent graced the grounds. A cut field accommodated orderly parking and four Port-o-lets sported working outside sinks, well stocked with soap and towels. I adored walking through the woods lined with white lights to and from the green cubicles.
This event was to thank generous fans for supporting the creation of their newest album: Meet me at the Edge of the World. The name is just luscious and I was immediately captivated. It speaks on so many levels.
Supporters were invited early to bring a picnic or participate in the cookie exchange and free cappuccinos. What an ingenious idea: dozens and dozens of mostly home-baked cookies. We had packed our cooler with snacks and drinks: all of the creature comforts.
Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist played the full two hours, with a short break near the end for Karin to do what most of us had already: visit the Port-o-lets. They're very humble, authentic people.
I, too, fell in love with this duo: their harmony, poetry, perspective, talent, awe of nature, sense of place and emphasis on relationship. Their music and lyrics are deeply rooted and spiritual; they celebrate connection and connectedness.
Being at their home was a gift. Their music another, but the gift that surprised me most was how their perspective of Ohio made me see it through different eyes, eyes that had been opened by the beautiful drive through the lush farmland to the concert. They helped me really like where I live instead of seeing it as a place I landed by chance, not choice. One of their lyrics says "I want to kiss you all over, Ohio." I also loved "Give me a swig of a little kick-ass beauty."
I was thrilled to learn they met at a Quaker college and share the Quakerism connection with me. On the ride home, I googled them and discovered that Karin was raised in Barnesville, a Quaker area of Ohio that I have loved and visited many times.
They interspersed their music-making with stories and ended with Q and A. The story that spoke closest to my heart was how one of their father's, Linford's I think, told them to leave the edges of their property wild. Such a metaphor. Leave the edges wild ... and open.
• When have I said yes to graciousness and generosity?
• What gifts emerged?
• How did I express my gratitude?
• How can I leave my edges wild?
• What does that mean to me?
thinking it was
that I could not
repay the extreme
kindness or, perhaps,
that I wasn't
finally took a
so much more
room for gifts
of all kinds
the one that
leave my edges
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