Fall nudges its way into our lives, a few leaves at a time, one brilliant branch spreading to another. In a mere eight weeks, our skis will have likely touched snow.
Over the summer (that some call miserably wet, but I think was more than half dry), I heard Jackson Browne, Emmy Lou Harris and several others sing to their hearts’ pleasure on a hillside meadow at The Shelburne Museum, their backs to breath-taking sunsets over the Lake. I thought it must be such a gratifying experience to perform to so many surrounded by so much beauty, wishing some day I might have the experience.
Last week there was a balloon festival on the grounds of the museum. Bright, clear dawns and more breath-taking sunsets over-hung the launching of brilliant colored balloons from that same meadow that had heard such sweet music over the previous months. Only a week before, we were invited to play music between the launch and “the Glow” Saturday night when the balloons would be set up all over the grounds and illuminated from their fires within in the darkness of a cooling late summer.
Only when we had set up and begun to perform—as the last balloon lifted and the setting sun was revealed—did I make the connection that it was the same meadow and it was my own music making the little kids dance and their parents tap their feet scurrying after them. Instead of performing with our backs to the sunset, it was spread before us in all of its glory, interrupted only by magnificent colors of balloons.
Due to soft winds, the Glow was postponed to the next evening, so Kip’n’co became the entertainment. Balloons aloft and drifting out of sight, no reason to stay longer, still the crowd lingered and enjoyed their picnics, listened to the music and grazed among their conversations. The evening was so pleasant we were invited to repeat the performance the following night.
As if from bolts of lightening, the air was charged in a perfectly clear sky. Summer’s end—with a celebration of labor, picnics, music and color—could not have been more perfect.