Saturday, August 16, 2008

Does it play in Peroia?

Wednesday, Dan Fogelberg's birthday, dawned a beautiful midwestern summer day. An uncommon day for August, the morning was cool, the breeze was gentle, and I was filled with the freedom that a weekday off work on a such brilliant morning provides. Guitar, CD's and coffee in hand, I headed North to Peoria. Why? Who knows. It seemed fitting. Decades had passed since I last saw Peoria in 1982. While everything around it has changed, the Illinois River remains a constant, just like the Mississippi of my childhood.

Having had enough of tall buildings and concrete, I escaped to a park outside of town, spread my blanket under a comfy tree, played to the river and did some thinking. What do I value? What makes me whole? What is it I am waiting for? Why? Why...... The answers held more truth than I was accustomed to hearing from myself, but in its very speaking, part of the weight I'd been carrying for so long was lifted from my shoulders. I needed to believe.

With that moment of catharsis, I headed off to a local winery for a late lunch. Red wine, cheese and bread, then playing more music on the patio. No one minded, no one knew or cared that I had not really played out in years. They hummed along, some sang with the older tunes. We did indeed drink a toast to innocence, to Dan, to time. Then at 5:30 (6:30 EST) I played the song I'd been saving all day, "The Reach". Someone whispered, "I love this song." Harmony ascended and as if on que, the golden late afternoon sun kissed the arbor, setting everything aglow. It was magic.

Back on the road, I took the long way home. It was a sunset to savor, a day to relish. Unbeknownst to him, Dan gave me a lot of gifts in his lifetime. Now even from beyond, he gave me one more. Thank you, Dan. Happy Birthday.

4 comments:

Dianne said...

That is so cool! I live outside of Peoria, and indeed, it was nice to have such a beautiful pleasant day in August. Next time, you may want to go to Grandview Drive, where a young Dan with his guitar hung out.
Do you know about the Fall Family Festival to be held at Glen Oak Park on Saturday, September 13th?
There will be a tribute to Dan...check out Live Music Peoria.

I was curious which park you went to and winery. ;-)

Thank you for your nice post.

Ruralgurl said...

Dianne,
Yep, know about the tribute set on Sept. 13, and was planning to go, but then a trip to Florida and friends there with a new (to them) boat sorta called my name.... Let's hope we can make it out between hurricanes!

Followed someone to the park, so ya got me. Damn lucky I found my way back. Winery was Kickapoo Creek. Really pretty. Liked the St. Croix a lot, but then I'm a dry red kinda gal.

Thanks for reading!

Happy In Bag said...

Lovely, and I'm a far bigger fan of Rural Gurl than I am of D.F.

Ruralgurl said...

Thanks, HIB, you're a peach!