Saturday, August 6, 2016

216. Hazel Fest

I made a mistake yesterday. I was scrolling through some old instagram photos and I clicked on one that I hadn’t looked at in a while. I noticed there was a like and a comment from someone I didn’t remember. I clicked on the profile and I regretted it. It was a friend of a former girlfriend. I looked at one of the photos and saw that she recently got engaged. It was to a guy she started dating when that girl and I started going together. I wondered for a second about paths not taken, but then I got mad and put my phone away for a while.

Today helped me realize that I am where I am supposed to be. I spent most of the day at HazelFest, a music festival on the ground of the Hazelden treatment center.

I’d been to two other music festivals,  the Basilica Block Party and Rock the Garden, so far this summer, but this was by far my favorite. The vibe was chill and intimate. People were there to listen to the music and celebrate good things. I kind of liked that there was no alcohol on the grounds. I think I enjoyed the music more.

There were a few moments that made me stop and smile. During the set by Davina and the Vagabonds, there was a girl up near the far right of the stage. She was dancing with two hula hoops. She was swirling, twirling, and tossing, paying no mind to what other people thought of her.

Near the end of the day, there were four kids, who were probably ages 3-5, rolling down the the hill part of the grass ampitheater where the stage was. They were giggling and running. They knocked into me a couple of times while rolling down the hill. That’s the ultimate definition of being carefree. I miss that feeling as a kid. I liked seeing those kids just enjoying themselves without any perception of other people’s thoughts of them.

The other thing I noticed were the vast amount of high school-age girls who came to see the band Hippo Campus. I like the band, but I had no idea that had such a big following with high schoolers. (I guess it makes sense as they graduated like three years ago.) The group danced close to the stage. It’s fun to see people experience one of their favorite things. Good for everyone for enjoying themselves.

Cloud Cult headlined the event. They’ve been referred to as an “orchestral indie rock collective.” Normally, that sort of classification would make me puke, but the lead singer Craig Minowa seems to be one of the most genuine people in music. His interview with Krista Tippett for the On Being program is worth a listen.

It was somewhere near the end of the day as I was laying on my blanket, half-asleep, sun overhead, with my hat covering everything but my eyes, when I realized that things were ok. I was where I was supposed to be.

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