It was a mighty fine week.
I had Kir Royales on the sidewalk at Coquette with an old friend, on a gorgeous late summer night.
I had breakfast at Third Place with one of my favorite neighbors, who is eight. I dare you to have a bad Monday, after breakfast with an eight year old and his Pokeman cards.
I had chicken and honey. I saw Holy Ghost Tent Revival and drank prosecco on the American Tobacco Lawn. I went to another first birthday party. I had a wildly successful jeans shopping trip, despite the burgers and shandies and chicken and honey. I added couple of crushes to my short list of crushes. The days until my first vacation in 14 months now number in the single digits.
All of that, and more. You see, it seems that the weather has broken. The oppressive, suffocating heat that has lain itself across the south and hunkered down like the houseguest who will never, ever leave…has left. Maybe not for good, yet. But for long enough that we’ve been able to take some deep, restorative breaths, and regroup. We can step out on the porch, first thing in the morning, and feel the tiniest bit of cool in the air. It feels to me like change is in the wind. Like fall, actually, might really come back one day. Like good things are happening all around us. And they are.
So I closed out my mighty fine week in one of my happy places.
I found Shakori Hills last fall, when I volunteered my way into the music festival they hold every October. I would still describe it as the festival for you, if you feel that Woodstock was just a little too uptight and conservative. It’s a place to get in touch with your inner hippie. You’ll want a tent, and a good lawn chair, and probably a maxi dress. (As for the maxi dress, though, I’ll have to tell you as your friend: you’ll look better in something else. Anything else. And I say that with love.)
As one seriously chemically altered kid told me in a wide-eyed daze at last year’s festival, “It’s like, peace, and joy, man, and like….LOVE! I mean, like, drink it in!” So that’s Shakori Hills.
Last night was a fund raiser for Shakori Hills, to raise a down payment to buy the land on which the festival is held every year. It’s a gorgeous place. And a happy place, for real. The drive alone out to Silk Hope will recharge you, especially if you go as sunset, like we did. The Mipso Trio opened. We love the Mipso Trio.
After that was NC Stars in the Round. It was a remarkable collection of NC talent. I’d been lucky enough to hear half of them in the last few weeks: John Howie, Justin Robinson, Christy Smith, and Jeanne Jolly. (Jeanne, if you’re reading this, “Falling in Carolina” made me cry on our quilt on the lawn. In a great way.)
Willow and Julia and I hung out and loved the music, and ate too much homemade popcorn and drank Copperline ale, and looked up a the lights in the pine tree above us and pretended it was a giant Christmas tree. We proclaimed Shakori Hills to be a happy place for everyone, as we stretched out in the grass on Willow’s handmade heirloom quilt.