Friday, August 07, 2009


Another thing off my bucket list! No, not the Taj Mahal, not the Eiffel Tower. Haven’t climbed Everest. But I did get to the Edmonton Folk Festival. First time ever.
The festival has been on for thirty years now, sells out every year. In some obtuse way I have always intended to go. But then somebody would tell me about getting there two hours early to lay down a tarp on a prized piece of spectator real estate, and a scorching hot weekend would persuade me that burning to a crisp was not better than listening to recordings, or I’d be cuddling up by the fire while a drenching rain poured down. All in all, when it came to reasoning, folk festing was always a little out of reach.
It was the younger generation that changed things. I am not sure how many years it might take me to get over the wonder of having our kids want to do things with us, and even be willing to pay their own way. This year the Folk Fest people pulled it together for us by putting on an extra night with Sarah McLaughlin. Ruth wanted to go, and Mark and Tracey went last year and knew how to get us some handy dandy backpacking lawn chairs with drink holders on the side. All things considered, what could we do? Tracey got the tickets. Her friend shopped for the lawnchairs.
We didn’t take a tarp. We simply shouldered our lawn chairs, tucked toques and mitts in the pockets, and smiled at the neighbours who laughed as we passed. They must have been envious, surely! Who wouldn’t smile at a backpacking family in neighbourhood transit?
The stage was already in full flourish by the time we got there. There were no spots near the stage. To get those you have to skip early evening physio.
So we climbed the hill—nearly as high as Everest. Up, up up! And there we settled, side by side, when Tracy Chapman began.
Sarah’s sweet caressing tones floated right up to the top of the universe as darkness fell. A thousand candles on the hill made you forget that there were stars behind the clouds. And as I lay back, with Mark’s blanket slung across three of us to ward off the evening chill, I thought maybe we’d try to come next year, if we can find the time.
It’s hard to work on a bucket list when there are so many things that simply have to be done again.

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