September 26, 2009
friends and canoes
No one can quite imagine what it is like to stay in so many different host homes in one year- just this past week with more concerts I’ve slept in 6 different beds. Julius just asked me if Ohio and Michigan are close to our stays in Texas…as I tried to help him visualize how far south Texas is from where we are right now, it was just a reminder to me of how far we’ve come- how many people we’ve met since then…how to each of them it is an opportunity uniquely theirs, and although the memories I have because of each host is different, being in someone’s home has become very routine by now.
Months and months ago now I stayed with an elderly widowed woman for an evening after a Friday night concert. She was the most insightful host to what the hard parts and realities of tour must really be like. I remember her hugging me before bed and asking “Excuse me dear, can I tell you something? I hope I am not being too personal, but I have just been thinking that tour could be a very lonely experience for someone. You are welcomed into someone’s home four times a week, answering the same questions, and never fully having someone get to know you. I can imagine that without good friends on your team that could be a very hallow experience, as much as it is a wonderful one and a blessing. I am sorry if I’ve said to much of what I’ve been thinking about and observing, but I just wanted to say that I hope you really form close relationships- hold them close, and may they be strong for you. I think what you’re doing is wonderful, but I couldn’t imagine it without the close friends to come back to after staying in my home.”
That woman had a wonderful sense of hindsight and insight about her. She is also very true- I remember talking about this at welcome weekend….just talking over life on the road when the initial glamour of it and spark so to say has dimmed. We talked about spiritual health- how to make sure you are being poured into when you will rarely attend church as you are always the main event on a Sunday morning.
To be honest I have always felt abundantly and deeply blessed with the friendships I have. There is a card at home that I want to frame someday that has 3 friends holding each other close out of the rain under a small umbrella. The quote on top says “it doesn’t matter where you are and what you do, it is your friends that make your world.” On tour, it could be very lonely- there is no one else that can quite understand what makes tour so wonderful and joyous and difficult all at the same time. As you travel with such a close knit team the people who you draw strength and energy from are the same people that may hurt you and frustrate you, and the same children that may sometimes make you want to pull your hair out, are the same ones you love so deeply and have given you a childlike spirit and utter joy.
I reassured that dear woman that morning that I left her place that indeed I am blessed by some wonderful friends as we travel. I thought that again as I enjoyed one of the best days off with two of my closest friends Ang and Patrick. In Mt. Pleasant for the day, we walked the morning through the park- I love that fall is finally here to change the leaves and cool off the weather! We found a farmers market and enjoyed the morning picking up multiple loaves of pumpkin bread for an afternoon picnic, and picked a quart of fresh raspberries for the picnic…but they got eaten on a picnic table instead. That afternoon we packed up all the pumpkin loaves for a canoe ride down the Chippewa River. It was beautiful- I love being on the water- so peaceful, and having the whole day to just enjoy and share in the company of my two dear friends.
p.s- we only bottomed out in the shallow water a couple times….and about 20 minutes in I’d say were a lot better at avoiding crashes into the trees!!