Riverbend and Early Rising

It is the end of Riverbend Festival week in Chattanooga.  The festival lasts 10 days, and attracts tens of thousands to its varied musical performances.  Even in years when I choose to avoid the heat and crowds, I can feel the excitement in the air.  Traffic patterns change, new faces appear in familiar places, television coverage and personal reports abound.  

My daughter made her first appearance at the festival at age three, dancing in the street with the community at the Bessie Smith Strut.  She still attends regularly, and I eagerly await her reports.  Last night we stayed up until 3 a.m. talking about the events of the week, the excitement still present.  She showed me her loot from the last night:  a necklace with a real scorpion embedded in glass, a six-pack of Coke Zero, jeans purchased in her pre-concert shopping.  Her descriptions of the Little Richard concert, with his unexpected presentation of his young nieces and nephew-tiny children standing on his piano to sing Itsy Bitsy Spider-kept me spellbound.  Attendance by proxy, as dictated by the current state of my lupus. 

In spite of the late late bedtime, I rose early to appreciate the glorious, bright day.  I have always been an early riser, eagerly waiting for morning to come, happy for summer when it is marked by bright light streaming into my bedroom.  As a child, I felt that I was missing something if I lay in bed late.  It was intolerable to hear activity in the rest of the house and not be a part of it.  Now, when the agenda of the day is dictated by me, I still feel the urge to jump into the day early.  I come by this honestly.  My father always rose early, his farm upbringing and Army career reinforcing the habit.  As an infant and small child, I woke to be with him and start the day. 

My son appeared unexpectedly at the front door yesterday.  He rang the bell and I interrupted a phone conversation to answer it.  My shrieks of pleasure greeting Julian probably frightened my friend on the phone.  A nice long spell of catch-up conversation ensued.  Meanwhile, a knitting friend showed up for an extended visit.  We began the evening with conversation, ended with pizza and a viewing of The Secret Life of Bees

So much to awake to, so many reasons to get out of bed.  That’s a good life.



3 Responses

  1. We haven’t been to a Riverbend performance since shortly after we moved here in the late 1980s. We’re just not into crowds, heat, humidity, etc. But, like you say, the excitement is unavoidable. From time to time, we have gone out to where we can see the fireworks on the last night.

    It’s odd – we can’t see the fireworks from our house, but we can hear them. I guess it’s due to the topography, the hills and mountains, etc. About 11 p.m. last night, we started hearing the booms. Such a fun place to be.

  2. Hey I was actually searching the web hoping to find some pictures people might have taken of my children lastnight. When i came across your blog.. it was neat to see my kids being brought up!!! Did your daughter happen to get any pictures?? I was standing backstage and was only able to get some from the side.. i really dont check my email but if you happen to have myspace i gave you the url to it.. you can send me a message there if you dont mind!!! Thanks, Amanda

  3. It truly sounds like you are making the most…and positively I might ad, of your life with lupus. I think that is really the best way to deal with it on the whole. Here in Phoenix, I detest the summer, but I love the monsoons that come with summer. So, I look forward to those stormy days and evenings! Being grateful for what we have and what we CAN do makes life loads brighter!

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