By Kevin Alan Lamb
I awoke from a tremendous slumber after my first Harvest Gathering on the Earthwork Farm in Lake City, Michigan. My emotions peaked during the closing performance in the barn by Chris Dorman, with the words, “Will we drown, or choose to begin again.” This summer has been filled with music festivals that were all unique and spectacular in their own way, but none more special than the Harvest Gathering. More than music I have always loved people, and few places have the pleasure of being occupied, appreciated, and harvested by the quality of goodness of the people that I was blessed to keep warm with while at the Harvest Gathering.
Under a harvest moon the music played, stars shined, wood burned, and a community of hearts healed with the words, love, and participation of one another until the sun rose and once more shined upon our skin. In a rare instance the stars gazed down upon humans that were able to put aside ego, de-construct the walls they spent lifetimes building, release fear and doubt that often consumed them, and celebrate each other together, because life is hard. In places that shine with a light far brighter than any man, woman, or idea, I found myself willfully participating with caution, intent on demonstrating my appreciation of the love, loss, and creation of others that gifted me the opportunity to belong.
After a series of emotional breakthroughs I found myself along with several others, inching closer and closer to a burning fire, wonderfully desperate to discover and hold warmth on a 39 degree, September night, in Northern Michigan. Free of expectation, patiently waiting for a chance to sit closer to the fire, I discovered the beauty and kindness of another that I have long been waiting for, and needed just a little bit more after months and months of wear and tear on a delicate heart. When you least expect it the universe may give you a reminder that despite your effort to convince yourself otherwise, there are some nights when the stars shine just for you.
We ask far more questions than we ever receive answers, but maybe that’s just because we have to improve our ability to listen. With chills running through your veins, and lingering doubt in your heart, perhaps all it takes to begin again is the warm hand of another, a voice that gives you hope, and kindness that reminds there is always better days to come, and endless ways to grow. Under a blanket we sat, her hand in mine as the music played, love healed, and doubt melted away. Never forget the blessing and goodness that resides in the hand of another. We all so desperately need one another and it’s a shame we ever deny it. Don’t wait for a 39-degree-night to reveal your vulnerable soul long enough to let love and light leave its fingerprints upon your being. Close your eyes and open your heart before you begin to sink and drown. Be quiet and be still long enough to listen for those that will dive to the depths of the dark sea and risk themselves to gift you the chance to begin again.