On the first day of April, I flew home from Nebraska after watching thousands of birds. On the first day of May, I drove home from Indio after spending a weekend in 100-degree heat covering a very large music festival attended by thousands of music fans. I only noticed the parallels between the starts to each month on the way home, patterns having a way of revealing themselves eventually, for better or worse. I’m not sure what to make of this one. I started saying yes to most everything in these post (is it over?) pandemic months and life got full really quickly (again for better or for worse!).
Stagecoach is a massive festival — more than 75 acts across a very wide definition of country music and 80,000 attendees on the same polo grounds that host Coachella. I heard some great music, witnessed some extremely polished showmanship, and a lot in between. I saw attendees waving flags of all kinds, cowboy boots of all make and model and heard many, many electric guitar solos (I’m pretty certain, there were more electric guitars at this festival than acoustic). Mostly I was delighted to experience, again, the truly unifying force that music can be, whatever your taste.
Coming home from time away is always an adjustment. On Sunday night, the wind started kicking up, and by Monday morning, there was a wind advisory across the desert basin. It made for a beautiful skyscape for the entirety of the drive, but the 55-degree difference upon reaching the Bay Area — complete with rain — has been disorienting. I have the sense of having reached shore after having been caught in a rip current: The landmarks have shifted. This may be just reentry after a trip…or maybe just how life is right now.
“Time's the revelator,” sings Gillian Welch, the only artist I found that I wanted to listen to after the weekend, my ears needing something different.