Pulling up to the drop-off spot, three of us piled out of the car with the picnic things while the fourth drove off to park. Within a few minutes, we had set up our lawn chairs in the back of the white tent next to the pavilion.
I'd never been to a polo field before but the one below us was gorgeous, with close-cut grass framed by trees with leaves of dark green. We would have loved an occasional breeze to toss those leaves but it was mid-summer in Georgia after all.
Still, a picnic in the shade with good friends--could there be anything better? Only if live music is included, and that's what had brought us here.
"A song can change your life.”
That’s the motto of Home by Dark, a songwriters’ in-the-round concert event that features some of the best songwriters and instrumentalists in America. We'd heard good things about Home by Dark from several friends but this was our first time attending a concert.
The atmosphere was relaxed and easy. The kind that brings with it ready laughter, good stories, and a deep sigh or two. All those things together hold a special kind of beauty to me.
When the show started, it was easy to see that everyone on stage felt a mutual respect for each other. No one, not even the headliners, held center stage for long. Both the saxophonist and the keyboardist composed songs on the spot, in the moment, with other musicians joining in.
It was an offering of music given to all who listened.
Toward the end of the show, the lights went out and a spotlight came on, trained on the saxophonist who was now standing in the audience. He sounded a long note and then began to slowly, reverently, play those notes that are long-time familiar: Amazing grace, how sweet the sound.
I closed my eyes, remembering the verses, anticipating each note before it came. Except for the crickets, no one sang, talked, or even whispered. I could have been the only one there, so focused I was on the notes and the words in my heart. In that moment, they were new and fresh and felt truer than ever before.
I didn't want the moment to end, but when it did, I carried it with me into the night.
Have you ever been similarly moved by music? I would love to hear about it.