Walking down a narrow country road welcomed my friends into the Ives Concert Park in Danbury. It was for a long awaited Mercy Me concert that evening. The park is tucked above the road and is part of Southern Conn. state University. While there, I met my friend, Phyllis. I said ,"'Hello, Good to see you again" and gave her a hug. The park is surrounded by a forest of trees and as we approached its entrance, there was a ticket booth enclosed within a gazebo. No flashy neon lights-just a quiet approach.
Before the concert began, my friend Gary kept saying, "glad we're going to be early."' He ordered 2 cheeseburgers, a hot dog and a large soda and fries. Gary said, "How I am going to carry all this. Here take my soda and program."
We were surrounded by 4,000 others that were dancing and standing by their seats offering praises to God. The first singer, TammyTrent hopped up on one of the speakers to get a closer view of the audience. The stage was on a small island connected by a small covered bridge. Tammy shared her life with us and allowed us to sing and enjoy some uplifting music and how that can change and affect ones life. Her story contained tragedy of the loss of her husband but spoke of how her life remained full despite her loss.
As I looked out at the park lawn, I saw many of my friends gathered. I saw children sitting on their parent's shoulders and some kids twirling lit wands in the air. A festive atmosphere with energy. I heard the cicadas dancing to their music-humming in the darkness. Looking above, I saw the outline of a tree surrounded by the dimly lit sky and saw the light from several fireflies in the distance.
The second group was a latino band, Salvador from Texas. They had the audience get up from their feet and sang many tunes from the Latino tradition. The beat was lively and got me into the music. As the second group was ending, a little conflict ensued with Gary and his staff friend who realized his medication was not with him. I looked on in sadness knowing that they could not enjoy the remainder of the concert before us. Looking back, I only wished that I more clearly communicated that night and his need for his medicine. So, I said goodbye to them and had two empty seats next to me for the remainder of the night.
The last group was Mercy Me. There were five men on stage and behind them ,three lit squares had neon messages highlighted in white and blue . I remembered some of their old songs from their cd.remembered by me. They sang choruses that I was familiar with too. I joined in and felt part of their choir. One of the songs that they sang, I can only Imagine is one that I often dance to at work whenever I hear it. It makes me feel alive and am full of energy when I do that. It makes me look forward to a time of hope and a time for peace.
I missed my friend Gary not be able to hear that part of the concert but it gave me the time to reflect on our friendship and the funny things that Gary says and dreams about. If only those things could happen of allowing others who are handicapped and less fortunate to experience a great night like this and to be a part of a community also. So the song I can only Imagine flowed through my mind and I continued dancing.
Having time to look up into the nighttime sky and hear those cicadas and all of us in unison raising our voices sure is a community. of nature and man united in an ideal and surreal backdrop to the world we live in.
Thanksgiving Thursday - Simple Gifts
3 days ago