Jam Jar Lanterns


Moon Garden Votive, Jam Jar from Anthropologie

My girlfriend and I are stoned. We’ve left the dinner table, her lovely husband, and lovely babies behind, and we are headed to a house party at my musician friend’s.

I’m leading her through the narrow alleyway to the backyard where soft strains of music trail through the night. She and I walk into a tiny Bluegrass concert with six musicians on acoustic instruments. My friend is nowhere to be found.

His roommate, a handsome chestnut of a fiddle player leads some fellows in a gypsy-jazz sounding rendition of ‘Sweet Georgia Brown.’ He’s wearing a Cuban hat, and his dark hair falls into his eyes as he plays. He’s tall, and young, and has a beautiful jaw line.

The banjo player is fierce, and Balkan looking, with piercing green eyes. He is no more than 26 years old, and his fingers fly across the strings with nimble and truly ridiculous amounts of grace.

The drummer, who is beating on a plastic tub looks a little like my friend who invited me to the party, but it is not him. He nods and smiles, and then the rest of the men notice us, but don’t skip a beat.

My heart does though. They sound unbelievable.

There’s a guy on mandolin, and two guys on guitars, and they switch off taking solos, and losing themselves to the music.

I lean against the fence, and Sarah leans into my shoulder. They are playing for us now, and the universe has slowed to a halt.

They jam for what feels like an impossible time and I wish Alexandra were here. She and I would be moved to silence by the unbelievable magic of this discovery, and we would share that unspoken emotion in one stolen look.

After their song ends, we applaud, and I inquire about my friend, who as it turns out, left his own party some time ago. The fiddler invites us to stay, and so we grab a seat while they decide which tune to play next.

It briefly occurs to me that the combo of two girls and six strange, drunk men might be a bad combination, but as soon as I can form the thought, it is gone. I think of all the things I didn’t experience because I was afraid, and I think of how deeply soul-satisfying this rare, blissful moment is, and I decide it’s worth the risk.

My worry and anxiety dispel like vapor. I know my bed is waiting, and that these perfect, rustic lullabies were sent to me on the summer breeze to remind me that there is wonder around every corner when you take the time to explore. When you are open to uncertainty.

Lead my sleepy heart to magic, time and again universe. If I can trust nothing else, I will trust you.

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