The open fields, joyful commotion in the air, blissful faces, and the feeling of having thousands of so called, ‘chosen-family’ members all around you in the hot, sweat-inducing sun, is an experience meant to be cherished.
-Winnipeg Folk Festival-
We pine, dream, and anxiously await the annual Winnipeg Folk Festival. Our children: Theodore, Greta, and Arthur build new friendships and memories, and always without fail, come home with a few more scrapes and bruises than when they first arrived. We’re proud of those little marks, we call them, ‘summer stamps.’
As a dad, the outdoor festival has been a tremendous gift. It has and continues to provide space where I can watch and encourage my children to explore, take risks, and step outside of their daily rhythms. Louise (my wife and partner) and I have been taking our kids to the festival for 6 years. Then, our oldest son, was only 4, our daughter 2, and our youngest son, only a few months old.
As a husband, over the years, seeing my wife rest in the sun, breastfeed in the prairie grasses, and delight in our family has been a blessing, as well as a turn on–what, many of you dads get it, we’re allowed to say that!!! 🙂
It’s a magical and whimsical 4 days. One of my favorite memories happened a couple years ago in the early evening. We set ourselves up at the mainstage, off to the left, right along the moderately shady tree line.
After lying our denim blanket down, opening our hand-packed snack bags filled with licorice all sorts, aka, ‘candy sandwiches’, and the kids cracking their glowsticks for later in the eve, I lie down and take in the scene.
With the sun setting behind me, it casts the most beautiful oranges, pinks, and yellow shades on poplar leaves. While mesmerized by the kaleidoscope of colors, the breeze runs between each one, causing them all to dance to the rhythm while kissing back towards the goddess with their paper thin diamond mirrors.
It’s a sight of a lifetime–especially while being consumed by crushing harmonies, percussion swats, and loop pedal love. I heart the festival!
Families come together at the festival, stangers become new annual besties, kids become more and more familar with their kilometers of circus, and life abounds with familiarity and surprise. Life is and continues to be so good.
I do sneak away from time-to-time to basque in my traditional mid-day joy. Have you ever expereinced drinking a freezing cold cider or beer with a good friend in the humid hot sweat of a July afternoon? There is nothing better–literally–nothing better. I cherish the small things in life that knock me off my feet, leaving me feeling so grateful to be alive and to have people to share life with.
If you and or family have never experienced the wonders of an outdoor summer festival, you are missing out on some of the best memories life has to offer. Whether you’re a music buff or not, playing, lounging, lying, walking, and or taking a siesta, are summer luxuries that keep your pockets and hearts full, while growing priceless heirloom memories. You gotta go.