The autumn breezes bring ghosts of many things to life. Musty memories get swept up with the cobwebs of time. But the most cozy and comfortable memories for many of us are those of the places we have called home.
Home can be a building, a town, another person, a specific place folks gather, or just the feeling you get when you know you’re in the right place at the right time. Not long ago, I went to visit a house that had been in my family since the early sixties. The house is under contract to be torn down, the land purchased by a new family who may live in that spot as long as my family has, but probably will not. I went to say goodbye, to turn down the road, climb the steep driveway, and again the steep steps and stand inside the walls one last time.
We become attached to our homes, not as much because we care about the boards that make up the walls or even about the stuff that we’ve filled them with, but because we have grown and we have changed there. Memories of things that have happened in these places make us the humans we are now, and I don’t know about you, but when I visit a place I once called home for one reason or another, the ghosts of my memories are palpable. I feel, if just for a moment, like I did when I called it my home. A part of me, once forgotten, comes out to breathe.
I suspect that a lot of us would consider this place, surrounded by these hills, a home of sorts. I know I do. Happy ghosts of my memories walk the grounds here, especially during the festivals, and they interact with so many others’. Like you, I have memories of late nights with the very closest of friends, of songs and chords heard here that still mean the world to me, of falling in love, of meeting new people who have expanded who I thought I was, and of once in a lifetime moments that could only happen here. But not only memories, current joys and intentions toward the future are also cradled here for us. Those also, make a home.
Some homes need their inhabitants just as much as we need our homes.
Like a home, Shakori Hills has comfort, its edges get worn and some corners temporarily forgotten.
Let us become its guardians, its home-makers and its fixer uppers.
Like a home, Shakori Hills has great potential for the future, so many lives still to be affected, so much still to be done and experienced here.
Let us task ourselves with sharing what we have learned here and pass it on to those that follow us so that they may feel for it the same joy we do.
Like a home, Shakori Hills is chock full of joys, secrets and memories. We lose our shoes in the mud, we track our children’s height in inches on the walls, we remember and we forget.
Let us be its memory keepers and story sharers. Finding old treasures in the backyard and hiding more for others to find.
Like a home, Shakori Hills welcomes our family, all who come here can feel like it belongs to them.
Let us work to understand each other and open each other’s eyes to who we can become. Here in this place. And beyond.
Love & peace,
Co-Coordinator, Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance