Falcon Ridge 2013 Part 2 - Unbroken

the hope of seven generations, maybe more

I believe 1994 was the first year that I went to the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, right about the time of Miranda was a year old. I believe it was also the year that Dar Williams first performed at Falcon Ridge. What was I thinking when I took my young daughters to this event? Sure, some of it was for the sheer joy of going such a wonderful folk festival, but what were my hopes for the girls? What were my hopes for them as I took them to piano lessons or drove them to summer camp? What were my parents hopes for me, when I was younger?

I took piano lessons when I was young. I sang in choirs, but none of that went all that far. My mother loved singing and had a great voice, before the essential tremors started.

I was standing by my window,
On one cold and cloudy day

"Will The Circle Be Unbroken" was the final song of the final workshop stage session of the final day of the Twenty Fifth Anniversary Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. Like Friday night, when Red Molly and Susan Werner performed "May I Suggest", I was tired and wet from a passing rainstorm.

I closed my eyes and thought of my mother. She would be saying how proud she was of Mairead, going all the way to Japan. Her voice would be shaking from the essential tremors, and their would be a tear in her eye as she thought of how much she loved her grandchildren. My mother went to Germany with my father after they were married. He served in the Air Force in Germany during the Korean war. My mother never did get much more of a chance to travel, other than our summertime vacations to campgrounds along the Atlantic Ocean somewhere between Mount Desert Island and Cape Hatteras.

Her shaking would go on wistfully to say how excited she was for Miranda; about her book, for her singing, and all the wonderful opportunities that awaited her. My daughters didn't know my mother when she tried to pursue the arts while struggling to raise a family in Western Massachusetts. After cleaning out the family house, I brought home various artifacts of her creative endeavors.

When I saw that hearse come rolling
For to carry my mother away

The audience stood to join in. I stood too, but could not sing; great performers on the stage, their children now performing on the Main Stage, an enthusiastic crowd; twenty five years of Falcon Ridge. Mairead was traveling in ways my mother only dreamed of. Miranda was singing in venues my mother couldn't even imagine. Memories of my mother during my childhood, all mingled together into a transcendent moment.

Earlier this summer, I ate a wonderful sweet juicy peach. I stood over the sink so the sweet flavors wouldn't make the floor sticky. I closed my eyes and was lost in the moment of eating the peach, nothing else existed but the sweetness of that peach. This moment at Falcon Ridge was like eating that peach.

When my daughter's were young, I used to sing "The Circle Game" to them as I put them to bed.

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There'll be new dreams, maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through.

Have the dreams lost any grandeur coming true? Maybe for my daughters, I don't know, but not for me. This is the best part of my life. The circle remains unbroken.

this is the faith
That they invest in you
It's that you'll do one better than was done before
Inside you know
Inside you understand
Inside you know what's yours to finally set right

Mairead and Miranda have already done so much more than just one better than was done before. Fiona is still young, but even now, she has done so much more than just one better too.

The circle has remained unbroken and this is the best part of our lives.

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