There's only one weekend I look forward to every year, and it's the first of June when my old friends get together and go to a huge jazz concert in Maryland, set up our outdoor living room with lawn chairs, bring our gourmet (and not so gourmet in some cases) picnics and cocktails in a cooler, play spades, dance and sing to the greatest jazz musicians in the world late into the night. Yep, it's our annual Woodstock.
This year, on the day of my much anticipated exodus, I got a call on Friday, that my beloved aunt was in ICU after a second lung operation. Since I'd last visited her in the hospital, there were many things sailing through my mind about her health, and suddenly my South Carolina childhood was playing out before my eyes, and I was trying to imagine what it would be like if I was without the one person still on this earth who always unconditionally accepted me, without any questions, judgments or expectations from infancy. I was paralyzed for a while until I got the second call that she had improved.
After a big exhale I got in the car and drove six hours through a couple of thunderstorms to make it to Maryland. We converged on the pavilion lawn on concert day and I fell into the arms of my people, my adopted tribe of feel good folks who care about each other just because, and, I knew I'd made the right decision to go because I needed it more than ever before. You bring me joy.