Sitting here on a beautiful Sunday morning, looking at crisp blue skies and fluffy white clouds, while a cool breeze waves the corn in the fields, I cannot think of a better place to be where the energy and spirit of nature is more present. It reminds me of Star Wars when Obi Wan tells Luke Skywalker that “The Force is strong here.” The longer I live here, the stronger The Force, also known as spirit, Mother Nature, God, etc., takes root within me and I feel the connection to All That Is … which is why I hate it when my inner Darth Vader comes out, and come out he does.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m older and at an age where I no longer tolerate stuff I always just took for granted as “well, that’s just the way it is,” but when you plop me down in the middle of crowds, rudeness and inconsiderate behavior, old Darth comes out loud and clear. Take the other night, for example.
For my birthday recently, my sister got tickets to take me to see Rick Springfield in concert. You may remember him as Dr. Noah Drake on General Hospital, and also as a singer, musician, songwriter and actor. I had a huge crush on him back in the ‘80’s and when I found out he was coming to perform at our annual Spidie Fest and Balloon Rally, I was thrilled. (Side Note: for those of you who are wondering what the heck a Spidie is, it is chunks of either chicken or pork that are marinated and grilled, and served either on a bun, on top of rice, even in a salad. It is our local claim to fame around here and people come for miles around to taste it. I am sworn to secrecy as to the recipe for the marinade). Anyway, Friday night found my sister and I making our way to the area where they had set up the soundstage, carrying our chairs for the on-the-grass seating. However, when we got there, the people seated in chairs were out-flanked by the people standing around the stage, blocking everyone’s view. Many of them were waving huge signs and making it even more difficult to see. Now I am said to be of average height but that night I felt like a dwarf among giants. Every time I said, “Excuse me, could you move your sign so I can see,” people turned around and stared at me like I was insulting them or. One young girl, who probably wasn’t even born when this man was on TV, was waving her hands all over like she was trying to dry her nails, and the huge satchel she had on her arm was whacking me in the head. When I asked her to please move over or put her purse down, she said something rude that I won’t repeat here but the mother in me was wishing she had a bar of soap on hand. It was at that very moment that I heard old Darth calling me over to the Dark Side: “These rebels need to be dealt with, “and I was more than willing to go. All around me people who were old enough to know better were pushing and shoving each other out of the way to get closer. I was wishing I had a light saber handy! I just wanted to enjoy the concert, take a walk down my personal rock and roll memory lane, and gaze adoringly at the hottest 67 year old man – just my age, thank you - that you will ever see, and they were turning it into a contact sport.
At some point my sister tapped me on the shoulder and informed me that she was moving to the back of the crowd to sit down since the speakers were hurting her ears (“If it’s too loud, you’re too old,” as Rick reminded us from the stage) and she wasn’t the fan, I was. As I looked behind me, I saw rows and rows of people sitting on lawn chairs, clapping to the music and laughing, and I realized that I was making my old nemesis, and Darth Vader’s right hand girl, Miss “I’m Right and You’re Wrong,” ruin the whole evening for me. So I went within and called on my inner Yoda to guide me out of the Dark Side. I was there to hear this guy sing, listen to his amazing guitar playing, let the music make my feet feel 30 years younger, and have a good time … NOT to look for reasons to be offended. I was not going to let the behavior of others ruin my night. So I stepped back, found a place with some space around me, and just started to sing along. Once I finally let the music in, it lit up my soul and my spiritual light saber chased old Darth back to the other side of the galaxy.
Now it is Sunday morning and I am again surrounded by The Force. There are no unruly crowds here, not even the herd of cows from up the hill. My landlord is cutting the grass and the smell is wafting in on the breeze. I’m getting ready to go out and cut some lettuce from the garden for my luncheon salad and afterwards I’ll take my afternoon stroll. Today the only music I want to hear are the crows flying over the corn fields and the clinking of the neighbor’s wind chimes.
May The Force be with you.
And so it is.